The Gladiator Movie Gives A Picture of Sonship Identity.
How would you define courage?
I would say it takes courage to:
Take a firm stand toward a controlling or rebellious person.
Be confident and self-motivating in sales.
Embrace a lifestyle change for significant health issues or weight loss.
Run a small business.
A Sonship Picture of Courage and of Insecurity
The story opens in Roman times. A huge battle scene ensues with Maximus, a fierce leader, guiding his troops to glorious victory. Now Maximus is a man of courage under pressure, a fearless, and principled man.
Commodus, son to the king, arrives on the scene after the battle. The king is ill and needs a successor to take his place soon. Commodus yearns to finally receive his father’s acknowledgment in announcing him as the beneficiary to the throne.
Evil Impelled by Fear
Privately the king shares with Maximus that Commodus is not a moral man and that he is not going to name him as successor. Unfortunately Commodus overhears this conversation, kills his father, and takes the throne anyway. That final rejection was more than he could bear.
Life Skills Only Work by Love
Commodus lacked integrity, was a loner, and had no ability to work in community. He followed the path of so many insecure dictators, shutting down the influence of the senate and anyone that might oppose him.
Commodus certainly had many sins to be repented of, however, that doesn’t really get at the root of it all. Underlying all the wrongdoing is the fact that he didn’t feel loved.
In the midst of his hurt and anger, he had killed Maximus’ family, although he didn’t realize that Maximus had survived. This story, taken from the movie, Gladiator, climaxes near the end with Commodus saying to Maximus that they’ll fight in the arena. Maximus laughs.
Commodus says, “Do you think I’m afraid?”
Maximus replies, “I think you’ve been afraid all your life.”
What a telling statement! Commodus said in the beginning of the movie that his father loved Maximus but had never loved him. This had made him a coward his whole life.
Maximus had courage in all his battles; he didn’t fear losing against the odds – because challenges were never about whether he was loved or not. His identity was rooted in love.
This is how you face life’s challenges with courage and trust. Father’s love accomplishes this security of identity.
Are you afraid? Have fears? Don’t feel confident and secure? The Father’s love can root you and ground you to be able to take courage and face anything. Whether it’s personal goals, problematic people, or difficult circumstances, His love secures us.