I watched the movie Shutter Island, and it prepared me for what God was about to do in my life. I’m always reminded that God can use anything (Christian or not) to get His perfect will done. If you haven’t watched the movie, this post will spoil it for you. I’m sorry.
At the end of the movie, Dicaprio’s character realizes he has been living the past several years in an insane asylum in an altered state. He believed he was continuing his U.S. Marshall work, trying to uncover a conspiracy at the hospital. His doctors needed to bring him back to reality, so they planned an elaborate role play experience, allowing Dicaprio’s character to uncover the “conspiracy.” The plot became layered and confusing until it climaxed with an intervention of facts.
Dicaprio’s character wouldn’t believe the information at first. Then, he became disoriented between what was real and fake. But finally, he fell to his knees in despair. He carried guilt from tragedy that occurred in his life, and he couldn’t handle the fact that he was a monster.
The day following the intervention, Dicaprio’s character slipped back into the altered state. Before the orderlies took him to get a lobotomy (which would make him passive), he asked his doctor, “Which would be worse: To live as a monster or die as a good man?”
God planned a Shutter Intervention for me three days later. I noticed that I had been criticizing people, and I couldn’t understand why. I kept reprimanding myself for criticizing others, but I knew it wouldn’t go away unless I let God pull out the root cause. I prayed and asked God to help me, and He quickly unlayered the sin. I criticized because of arrogance. I became arrogant because I was covering up for jealousy. I was jealous because I was insecure. But why was I insecure?
I drove to the beach and continued reading the book, Why? Because You are Anointed! by T.D. Jakes. And there in the car I was confronted with reality. I am selfish. I see life through the lens of “I” and my entire opinion of people, actions and circumstances is altered. I was insecure because I am not perfect. And because I idolize self, I couldn’t handle the fact that I too am a monster.
T.D. Jakes writes: “The most prevailing sin of all mankind is sin of selfishness…the idolizing of self (self idolatry). Selfishness is the epitome of satanic, demonic, and rebellious sinful motivations and behavior.”
My entire life I have seen everything from my own perspective, which is blurred by the cataracts of sin. If I were truly seeing life through the lens of God, I would never have those negative feelings of jealousy, hate, lust, pride, envy, discontent, etc.
When I realized that I had been seeing everything through an altered state, I became disoriented. I could barely get a grip of what God was teaching me. How could I apply this new truth? My understanding of everything is tainted, and I didn’t know how to begin seeing clearly.
I was about to call it quits. There was no way I was going to be able to live my life with a new set of eyes. But God reminded me of what Dicaprio’s character asked: “Which would be worse: To live as a monster or die has a good man?”
The reality is none of us are good enough. We all have tragedy. We all have sinned. We are all monsters. If we truly understood how ugly we are compared to God’s beauty, we would all fall to our knees in despair. But Jesus died a good man to save us from ourselves. Yes, I’m a monster, but Jesus lived a sinless life and died to redeem me. If I can focus on Him being good and see through His eyes, then I don’t have to worry about living in an altered state. If I can live by grace; I can live free.
“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body
also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of
darkness” – Luke 11.34
What about you? Have you ever realized that you were seeing a situation or person through the wrong perspective? How do you try to prevent seeing life through the wrong eyes?