I originally wrote this post under the title “Lessons From Rocky” in 2012, but feel it has a great lesson for now. With our current culture wringing it’s collective hands over not feeling safe if people have differing points of view. And when so many want to point the finger at others blaming them for their lack of success in their personal lives, I feel as a Christian we need to look within to see where our abundance or lack thereof comes from. I’m not just talking about money either, but our personal values and character; and how what we do and say impacts the lives of those around us.
Have you ever watched the final installment of the Rocky movies, Rocky Balboa? If not, you really need to; and if it’s been a long time, you should watch it again. Whether you’re a fan of boxing or not, this movie is full of great examples of how we should treat others.
Rocky’s now probably in his mid to upper 50’s, widowed for three years, and has a son who doesn’t want to be around him because he feels he’s always in his father’s shadow. Rocky spends his evenings telling old boxing stories to the guests of his little Italian restaurant, and during the day interacting with the people of his neighborhood.
I think this movie is a great metaphor for our Christian walk. It has family values and examples of unconditional love. It shows a man can be strong and still be a gentle spirit. Rocky’s character gladly feeds those who are down on their luck, and would give someone the shirt off his own back if they needed it.
He’s respectful, kind and self-controlled even when he’s insulted. He cares deeply for his family and friends; and even when they are hurtful to him, he shows restraint and doesn’t hurt them back.
Now I don’t know a whole lot about Sylvester Stallone as a person, but his character in the movie is one to be emulated. He is a skilled warrior in the boxing ring, yet a gentle spirit outside of it. When in the ring he’s focused, committed to his task, and knows no fear. Outside the ring he’s kind, generous, and focused on making his part of the world a better place.
At the beginning of the movie, while visiting different places around town where he and his now passed wife had a history, he runs into, and befriends a single mom he knew from her youth. He takes her and her teenage son, with no father figure, under his wing to help them.
There’s a scene where this single mom, Marie, asks Rocky, “so why you doing this for us”? Rocky just kind of shrugs his shoulders and asks her, “Why does someone have to have a reason to do something nice for someone else“? What a wonderful example of loving your neighbor as yourself.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie though is when Rocky has a come to Jesus meeting with his son on a sidewalk near his restaurant. His son is trying to persuade Rocky not to fight the world champing because he’s going to embarrass himself as well as his son. At this point, Rocky gives a truly inspirational speech to his son that I believe speaks to us all.
There are some great nuggets of wisdom in the following video clip.
How often have we let life beat us down and steal our dreams?
How many times have we let adversity beat us up, and shake our faith?
I would like to have a poster made that says, “It’s not how hard life hits you, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”.
As a Christians we’ve got to be able to keep moving forward no matter what life throws at us.
When we get hit with trials, we can’t wallow in self-pity and hang our heads in defeat; we must grab hold of God’s promises, pull ourselves up by the boot straps, and keep moving forward?
Life is wonderful, but life is also hard. Our ability to keep moving forward will determine the kind of walk we have with God, and the works we’re able to do in His name.
Jesus Christ is our Rock and our strength. He will give us whatever we need to keep going, but He expects us to do our part and keep pushing forward.
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