A DAILY DEVOTIONAL: We Are a Peculiar People by Matthew Kinne
CBN.com – Forrest Gump (1994)
American Film Institute Ranking: 71
Academy Awards: Best Picture; Robert Zemeckis, Best Director; Tom Hanks, Best Actor; Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Film Editing; Best Visual Effects
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for drug content, some sensuality, and war violence
Read: 1 Corinthians 1:18–25
**1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (MSG)
18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.
22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”
We are fools for Christ. (1 Corinthians 4:10)
**1 Corinthians 4:9-13 (MSG)
*9-13 It seems to me that God has put us who bear his Message on stage in a theater in which no one wants to buy a ticket. We’re something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. We’re the Messiah’s misfits. You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties. You might be well-thought-of by others, but we’re mostly kicked around. Much of the time we don’t have enough to eat, we wear patched and threadbare clothes, we get doors slammed in our faces, and we pick up odd jobs anywhere we can to eke out a living. When they call us names, we say, “God bless you.” When they spread rumors about us, we put in a good word for them. We’re treated like garbage, potato peelings from the culture’s kitchen. And it’s not getting any better.
“Stupid is as stupid does,” says Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks. To say the least, this man is peculiar. Odd, dumb, and even plain foolish are other ways of putting it. But for the most part, life is just fine for this Southern simpleton. He goes to a good school, becomes a football hero, and is decorated as a Vietnam War hero. He meets presidents and becomes a shrimp tycoon. He invents the smiley face logo and starts the fitness craze. He goes to church, helps his disgruntled friend Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise) come to faith and peace, and marries his lifelong sweetheart, Jenny (Robin Wright Penn). Though Jenny eventually dies of AIDS, Forrest is glad to enjoy life with his son, Forrest Jr.
Many might think that God can only use important, smart, and educated people in his kingdom. We see teachers, preachers, writers, and leaders doing great exploits, and we think that only those who are wise can really do something important for God. The Bible says this isn’t true. In fact, God says, The wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish. (Isaiah 29:14)
Peculiar means not only “strange” but also “chosen, selected, and unique.” The King James Bible calls Christians peculiar in Titus 2:14 and in 1 Peter 2:9. Like Forrest Gump, we have been selected for great and marvelous works. In his simplicity, Forrest shames the wise. His goodness affects all those around him for good, and the audience treasures him for it. Why not become a fool for Christ and show your own peculiarity to those around you?
PRAYER IDEA: Praise God for creating you to be unique.
Excerpted from Reflections for Movie Lovers by Matthew Kinne, published by AMG Publishers/Living Ink, Chattanooga, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
**The Message Bible is not the translation that was used by the original author for this devotional:
**The original Scripture reference was changed from 1 Corinthians 4:10 to 1 Corinthians 4:9-13