Welcome to the second day of our 10-day Lights, Camera, Action devotion guide. Today, let’s take a look at Forrest Gump.
Day 2: Forrest Gump
Scripture: Matthew 5:43-48
Lights: Forrest Gump is one of the most memorable movies of all time. As a matter of fact, the bench that Forrest sat on had to be placed in a museum because of the amount of people trying to steal it after the film hit theaters in 1996.
The movie details the life of Forrest as he grows up through the events of the 50’s, 60’s, and the 70’s. He recalls all kinds of U.S. history including the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the protests of the 60’s, Kennedy’s assassination, Watergate, and much more through what we may call innocent eyes.
What is very prevalent, however, is that Forrest is a severe victim of bullying.
Although he can’t fully understand it, he is made fun of by the kids in his class because of his legs as early as kindergarten. The bullying continues through high school as we see several jocks in their car chase Forrest while throwing rocks at him. This is where we get the legendary line “Run Forrest, Run!”
Forrest runs so fast from the bullies one day, he is given a full scholarship to play football at Alabama. During a game, we see the hall of fame coach Bear Bryant utter these words (TBS version) after a Gump touchdown: “He must be the stupidest person alive, but he sure is fast!” Even his own coach had no use for him other than to win football games.
Camera: In the same way, many people struggle with being bullied. Others struggle with bullying others. We are called to love one another. Forrest, even through all of the things he had to go through, continued to love others.
He cared for Jenny who, in many cases, just used him. He cared for Bubba and his family. He cared for Lieutenant Dan. He cared for his mother. Because of how he carried himself and the love he showed, we find out that it changed Lieutenant Dan’s life.
We aren’t called to take revenge on our enemies, but to love and pray for them. If you are a victim of bullying, look for help. Reach out to people and take refuge in the fact that Jesus said “If this world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first.”
Maybe it’s not even bullying. Maybe there are just people you have that are hard to love in your life or that have hurt you. Ask God to help you forgive them.
If you are partaking in bullying, repent and ask those people for forgiveness. Don’t continue to mistreat your brothers and sisters in Christ. God has called us to love each other and look for ways to include people that may not have a group of friends or family to fellowship with.
Action: Take time right now to pray for your enemies.
Forgive those who have hurt you and ask forgiveness for those you have hurt.