Another Friday family movie night written in the books. We watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for the second time. A classic for sure, especially compared to some of the nonsense passed off as appropriate for children these days. And it’s a nice bonus to sit and enjoy a movie with your kids that you first enjoyed as a child. Then there’s the chocolate, all that yummy chocolate!
Last night, I had the same reaction to one particular character in the movie. I find the attitude, language and demeanor of the main antagonist, Veruca Salt, infuriating. “Brat” does not begin to describe her! That character is a blatant example of parenting gone very wrong. I made a flip comment about her in full earshot. Thought nothing of it at the time.
While showering this morning, I replayed my comment in my mind and how it negatively influenced my kids’ attitudes toward the character (Veruca’s behavior was encouragement enough, but still). The Holy Spirit interrupted with a simple phrase, laser like in precision, yet painless. “That’s how you looked to the Lord before you were saved. That’s how everyone looks before salvation.” Before I could get the proverbial “but” in, I said His words again out loud, slowly. Of course, He’s right. Of course I did.
Before Jesus saved me I was in a prison called sin, courtesy of Adam. It’s a repulsive place and, likewise, the resulting acts. The beauty of God is His response, starkly different to mine. It spite of my offense to His holy sensibilities, He reached out to me in love and offered rescue from that depraved state! Mine for the taking, most undeserved.
With that gentle, loving correction I had a new perspective on Veruca. I felt pity for her. She didn’t know that the love of a father saves you from your folly and continues to correct wrong thinking when needed. I have to share it with the kids. Before I left to go grocery shopping, I told them the truth. None of us were better than Veruca Salt. But God…His love His awesome.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.