Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cinderella...Not Just another Fairy Princess Story

Ella stood before her dying mother, frozen with fear. “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer,” whispered her mother, “Have courage and be kind.” Choking back tears, Ella nodded and sealed the secret between them with one last hug.
Little did she know, but this little secret would see Ella through life’s toughest trials.
While we know Cinderella’s story well—the beloved daughter of an English merchant who, after the death of her mother, is forced to live with her abusive stepmother and selfish, spoiled, homely stepsisters until she finds Prince Charming—Disney turns us on our heels in the 2015 remake of this childhood favorite.

Yes, all of the original fairy tale stays intact with its magic and transforming powers, but goes beyond the “happily-ever-after” ending, leaving us with four key lessons:  (1) What you’re called is not your doing, (2) Kindness begets goodness, (3) Goodness begets “magic”. (4) Forgiveness precedes freedom.

Lesson One: Have courage - what you’re called is not your doing
Cinderella and Prince Charming first meet while riding on horseback in the woods. After exchanging niceties, the prince asks Cinderella, “What do they call you?” Embarrassed by the truth, Cinderella plays coy, “It doesn't matter what they call me.” And the prince, seeming to understand her secret, states, “I’m sure it’s none your doing.”

We all carry labels, you know, those names others slap on our backs that distort God’s image of who He created. What we're called is not our doing, not our true identity. God holds our true identity, our true name. Throughout the Bible, God renames His faithful ones to match His purpose for their lives, signifying the death of their old identity and the birth of their identity in Him.  For example: Abram (high father) to Abraham (father of many), Genesis 17:5,  Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (God contended), Genesis 32:28, and  Saul (prayed for) to Paul (small, humble), Acts 13:9. Living that transformed life, living by the name God intended for us rather than the labels by which others call us, takes enormous courage because we’re constantly bombarded with the lies.

(Slip over to {re}fresh for the rest of the story...)