I finally saw The King’s Speech last night (and early this morning, it’s a long movie). I almost never watch movies in a theater, not because of my residual conservative upbringing, but because I can’t see paying $20 when my wife and I can watch the same movie for $1 a few months later. I do read the reviews of each new movie, and frankly, there aren’t many that I’m interested in seeing, and even less that God wants me to see. I doubt that it’s possible to spend much time in theaters and not suffer spiritually.
If you think that sounds legalistic, it may be because you’re too licentious. Of course conservative Christians were wrong for saying that our young people should not go to the movies (especially when we watched the same films at home on our VCRs). But I don’t think we’re better off now that the pendulum has swung in the other direction, and even our sermons include illustrations from R rated movies (and not the good kind). Pastors, please remember that any time you refer to a movie in one of your sermons, you are giving tacit approval to every person there to watch it. Every teenager is thinking, “If my pastor saw Caddyshack, then I can, too.” Is it any wonder that our young people struggle with sexual sin?
Anyway, I did see The King’s Speech, which was the tamest R-rated movie you’ll ever see. The only thing in the whole movie that would be inappropriate for children was the few spots of playful profanity that the king used to loosen up his tongue. In all it was a fine movie, and I hope it wins an Oscar (said the man who is several months behind the rest of America). The movie gave me an idea for an entry to Our Daily Journey, and as always, I welcome any helpful critique that you may have.
The King’s Speech depicts the surprising rise to power of Prince Albert, who became King George VI of England when his brother Edward abdicated the throne to marry an American divorcee. Albert didn’t want to be king, in part because his severe stuttering often embarrassed him when he spoke to large groups of people. And this would prove important, for Albert had the misfortune of being king during Hitler’s bombing of London. If ever England needed strong leadership, it was now.
The King’s Speech recounts how Albert overcame his speech impediment and rallied his people to withstand Germany’s blitzkrieg. But though Albert was ultimately successful, his tenuous reign illustrates the burden of leadership. Whoever is in charge is responsible. If you’re the king, the buck stops with you.
We applaud Albert for his service to Great Britain. It’s good to rise to the occasion and provide leadership when needed, but it’s an unnecessary burden when it’s not. You may be called to lead in your group or team, but there is one area where you are freed to follow—yourself. It’s a relief to know that Jesus is Lord of your life, for if he is Lord then you don’t have to be.
The only burden worse than being lord is the frustration of pretending to be in charge. Have you ever had a job which demanded accountability but gave you no real authority? You were held responsible for sales or performance that you were powerless to change. You probably quit.
So why don’t we quit pretending that we are lord? Why would we even want that responsibility? Let’s submit to Jesus, who possesses “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). Do what he says, and if for some reason it doesn’t work out, it’s all on him. What a relief!