It's kind of a funny story · Movies

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I watched “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” tonight. I resonated with it because I have felt like the main character for most of my life – feeling so much pressure to live up to the expectations of others. Like Craig, I have been crippled in many ways by my own warped sense of where I should be based on comparative thinking. This leads to inward and depressive thoughts and a crushing weight that you cannot seem to lift. You lack the ability to see the good that is around you and are left with tunnel vision, focusing only on what you can’t seem to get right.

The solution in the movie is good, but it is only part of the answer. Focusing on other people and helping them is a start, but it does not completely take the weight away. The only thing capable of that is the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit and the light of the Gospel. God makes us into new creations the moment we believe and trust in him for salvation. This work renews what was broken and restores the soul. We are now no longer bound to the disappointing and destructive cycle but to goodness eternal. We live in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is in that power that we can overcome the darkness that lays waste to our souls. Oh, we will struggle and evil will sometimes masquerade as who we are, but that will be the lie. We are God’s and as such are seen through the lens of Jesus’ sacrifice. If you are a believer then you live in the perfect love of God that casts out all fear. 

So the first answer to be found, if one wants to get out of the mire, is a new identity not based on your own works, but on someone perfect: Jesus. It is then that we can truly be free – free of ourselves and free to help others. In none of this am I responsible for healing or recreating, but it is God who does that work. It is for his glory then, because I can claim none of the credit but I can rejoice in the outcome. And that is good news. 

The second answer is to be known and know. Be known my someone – not just 99% but 100% known. It is in being known that helps ground us and keep the devil from being able to dig in and grab hold of us. If one is known and knows others intimately, then there is freedom because nothing is hidden; the focus shifts and we are part of a larger story. The light of the Gospel and being known by others keeps us from being wrapped up only in ourselves and helps us see our true reason for being here, which is to know God and enjoy him forever. It is then, when we lose ourselves and see that the main character in our stories is not us but God, we can begin to experience freedom.