3 Having Compassion 

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."- Colossians 3:12 

Robin Hood may not rank very high next to other Disney classics, but there are two parts of the movie that always stuck with me. The first is when the chicken plays football against rhinos after Prince John yells "Seize the Fat One!", talk about hilarious! But the second (and probably more meaningful) scene is when Robin Hood attends Skippy's birthday party. If you remember, Skippy is celebrating his seventh birthday party when the Sheriff of Nottingham arrives and steals his only present, a single gold farthing. Just when it looks like the day is ruined; Robin Hood surprises the boy and cheers him up by giving him a new present, his very own bow. Skippy is thrilled with the gift, but his sisters begin teasing him since he looks nothing like Robin Hood. So Robin gives the boy one more gift, his own hat, promising "You'll grow into it." Colossians 3:12 tells us that as followers of Christ, we must cloth ourselves in compassion. Sometimes this means giving generously, and other times, it means taking a step back and allowing a small child to be the hero of the day. 

4 Be Self-controlled  

"Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled" - Titus 2:6

Like I said, I grew up watching a lot of princess movies, and Beauty and The Beast was a popular choice around the household. I can remember the first time I saw The Beast appear on screen I nearly jumped out of my skin. The guy was terrifying! Worse, you never knew what would set him off. He'd explode at the drop of a hat then go rampaging through the castle in a fit of feral rage. Everyone was afraid of him, even the castle staff who were always saying "You must control your temper!". As a guy, I'm not supposed to like princess movies, but I've got to say Belle had some serious guts standing up to him the way she did. However, toward the end of the movie we see a complete shift in his character. He's calmer, more approachable, and treats others with more respect. Even when the castle is invaded and he's attacked by Gaston, The Beast chooses to spare his life. He does not let his anger control him. The sad truth is I've known a couple guys like The Beast. They show no restraint, love to pick fights, and are angry all the time. We all have in us the potential to be monsters. That is why Christ constantly warns us to exercise self-control. For guys, this is one of the most important lessons we can learn. No one can act justly when they are blinded by rage, and there is no room for compassion or courage in a heart filled with anger.  

No matter where you stand on the Disney debate, I hope these lessons gave you something to think about. As Christians, we are meant to reflect the character of Jesus in a world that is entirely self-consumed. God has made us heroes in his own story, let's be sure we have the qualities to make a happy ending.

*This article first published 6/15/2011