Last Saturday night, Jenn and I watched an amazing movie that I found so inspirational, “Old Fashioned.” I had already felt led to begin writing a post, and probably a series, called “Be To Do” that deals with our our spiritual walk with Christ. When this movie came along and really fit so perfectly with everything the Lord has been revealing to me the last several weeks, I thought I’d tie it in.
So, before I get into my post about the movie, I wanted to share a little more about what the Lord has laid on my heart. Consider it a teaser for my future, meatier “Be To Do” post. The basic idea I want to leave our readers with is that it (life in general) isn’t all about you. It’s about Him (Jesus)! We waste so much of our lives beating ourselves up over past failures and working hard to be good, so that we can be accepted by God.
My walk. My failures. My purpose. My life. We are so self-conscious. Even when we’re putting ourselves down, we’re still making it all about us! Everything is me-me-me, I-I-I. But we weren’t saved to be self-conscious. We were save to be Son-conscious. It’s not about you. It’s about Jesus.
I hope I didn’t let too much out of the bag. That was just a little preview of what is to come. I am so excited to share more about the riches God’s grace toward you. Hope this has blessed you in some way, and that you’ll be back for the “meatier” post. 😉
I saw a blog review for the movie “Old Fashioned” and it kind of shocked me that the reviewer completely missed the point of the film. The reviewer stated the following:
My only real complaint with Old Fashioned is the inconsistent values. On one hand Clay is supposed to be this spiritual giant who has developed these high moral standards for dating. Yet, He doesn’t go to church and doesn’t seem to have any other strong Christian values outside of his dating beliefs. Also, if his courtship belief is based on a biblical worldview, he wouldn’t consider a relationship with a woman who’s not spiritually compatible. So for those who are looking for a movie to support strong Christian values, this falls short.FaithFlixFilms.wordpress.com
I disagree with the reviewer’s assertion that Clay, the main character, was supposed to be a “spiritual giant.” While in the outset, Clay did set a pretty high standard, that standard appeared to undergirded by more by his own good works than by faith. Clay strictly held to his religious principles in an effort to become a “good person” and escape the darkness of his past. He became so pious in this pursuit that he couldn’t even go to church because of his perception of hypocrisy among the congregants.
Yet with all his efforts to “be good” and “holy,” he still struggled to believe that he could be loved, not only by the young woman, Amber, who’d stumbled into his life, but also by God. He felt unworthy, like he needed to be cleaned up first before he could ever hope to be loved. Doesn’t that sound like a lot of us?
And, yes, it’s true. Clay FAILED to live up to his own standard. That’s the whole point! This girl came along and disrupted Clay’s religion. He was forced to face his own hypocrisy, his own inability to live the religiously perfect life. He would never be able to do enough good to outrun the bad from his past.
Eventually we all must come before the cross, stripped of our own flawed righteousness so we can be clothed with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a righteous, sinless life that we were incapable of living. He became righteousness on our behalf. Now we simply dress ourselves in His righteousness. We are saved by the life He lived, not the life we live.
For Clay, this was a lesson that took him nine years to learn. He had to come to the realization that he was already loved, not because of how good of a person he had become, but simply because he was. God loved him despite his imperfections. After all, as Clay’s Aunt Zella put it, “Nobody arrives fully this side of heaven.” And like she so eloquently stated, “Get over yourself!” It’s not all about you. It’s about what Jesus did for you. Stop trying to be perfect. No one is perfect. No one!
For some crazy reason, we struggle against this. We constantly work to earn the love that is freely given. And, in the process, we miss out on all the blessings God wants to bring into our lives. Our failure to meet our own expectations fuels our drive to work even harder, alienating us from those that fail to meet our own self-righteous standard.
So Clay wasn’t as perfect as he appeared to be. Sometimes we expect people to be perfect “mini Jesuses” but they’re not. We’re not! Only Jesus is Jesus. We are to be Christ-followers. We need Him because we can’t be like Him on our own. But so many people miss out on Jesus because they’re so focused on being good rule keepers.
“Don’t be unequally yoked! That’s what the Bible says.”
Yes, that’s true. It does. My point isn’t to diminish the Word of God. Not at all! But let me suggest that maybe they weren’t unequally yoked, not completely. Let me explain.
I don’t believe that Clay fully accepted the grace of God until that eye-opening conversation with his aunt, near the end of the movie. I’m not saying that Clay was “sort of saved”. It’s just that, sometimes, faith is more of a journey than an immediate destination. Like in Clay’s case, it may take up to nine years before the reality of God’s unmerited grace to seep into our thick brains.
So when the reviewer focused on Clay’s hypocrisy in having a relationship with a spiritually incompatible girl, she totally missed the bigger picture. Clay needed to forgive himself and receive the unmerited grace of God. So God used the love of a young woman to open his eyes to greater reality of His unconditional love. Worldliness met legalism. And although we never get a clear indication of Amber’s salvation, in the end it was clear that it was trending upward. You might say that God killed two birds with one stone. God saved Clay and Amber from themselves by bringing them together.
Jenn and I both found it ironic that Clay’s favorite verse was “Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17)” however, this didn’t happen for Clay until the end of the movie. Some people get it right away, and some of us don’t. Sometimes God has to interrupt our religion in order to interject His grace.
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Jenn and I will be doing an official review of this movie in the next few days, so watch out for it. I will say now that I highly recommend it to anyone! It’s put out by PureFlix, and PureFlix has taken over the streaming app IAmFlix on Roku, and the android app is great, or you can watch on your PC. You can get a month’s free trial right now. Please note that on our internet, the connection was spotty, but I’m hoping it’s AT&T’s fault, not PureFlix’s. 😉 We want to support Christian, family-friendly companies. You can also pre-purchase from Amazon. It won’t officially be out until tomorrow (16th).
Grace unto you,