Do you want to build a sermon?
Well, Disney’s mega-hit animated film, Frozen, will give you plenty of material. Even though I am a child of Disney’s early 90s “Golden Years”, Frozen is far and away my favorite picture they have ever made. I now have a few small children of my own, so I have seen the movie myself about, oh, 80 million times. But I just can’t seem to get tired of it, because each time through I am amazed at the depth of lessons woven throughout the story that have touched me in very personal ways.
So what can we learn from Frozen? Let’s take a look:
*SPOILER ALERT* If you are part of the 0.0000001% of people who have not yet seen this movie (what is wrong with you?), there are major spoilers below.
1. We’re dying inside by living in constant fear of our flaws.
Everyone has flaws. Everyone. The people you look up to, your family, friends, your boss, and you. But you already knew that. Yet in spite of that knowledge, we tend to self evaluate our flaws as if we’re the only ones who have them, comparing our “real” self to everyone else’s best face. This is tormenting, causing depression, self-loathing, and insecurity, and worst of all is completely unnecessary. God gives us freedom from fear of our weaknesses in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” We can only really start living inside when we realize how God is using us through and in spite of our weaknesses.
2. Isolation is never the answer.
When the jig is up and we can no longer hide our flaws behind a painted on church-lady smile, our tendency is to give in to pride and fear and isolate ourselves from the very people who love us the most and who can help us. It may feel like freedom, like you can finally be yourself with no repercussions, but it is a false sense liberty. The issues that we run from will always catch us eventually because God is always wanting to refine us and pursues us relentlessly. The castles we build around us to hide and resist growth will never address the root of the problem deep within the heart.
3. Don’t stop pursuing those who have thrown in the towel.
Anna could have easily stayed behind, been married, and become queen of her kingdom. But love drove her to go after her sister, even though Elsa had given up on everyone else, including Anna. What would have happened if Anna chose her own comfort and desires over her sister? What would have happened if Anna said, “It’s pointless, she’s always been this way and I’m never going to get through to her. It would be a waste of my time and energy”? What would have happened if Anna had given up the first time she was rejected while trying to bring healing to this hurting person? What about the second time she was rejected? God shows us how to love others by the way He is continually long suffering toward us. He doesn’t give up on us. Ever. And we’re the ones He has called to show that love to those who are hurting, who have given up, and walked away.
4. Everyone is a “Fixer-upper.” The Answer? Community.
Everyone’s a bit of a fixer-upper
That’s what it’s all about!
We need each other
To raise us up and round us out”
I think these song lyrics from “Everyone’s A Bit of A Fixer-Upper” explain it best. The value of being connected to a community of people who love us and have our best interest in mind is immeasurable. God designed us to grow this way.
5. Keep moving forward.
It’s easy to feel like our bad choices disqualify us from doing what we are meant to do, but everyone makes them. Even Anna, the hero of the film, is so desperate for love and attention that she falls for the first tool who looks her way. The discovery of just how wrong she was could have easily caused her to feel so stupid and upset with herself that she should have given up and died, but she picked herself up and kept moving forward. Your screw-ups are an opportunity to show grace, and to empathize with others in their weaknesses. I was speaking at a camp last Spring and talked to the students about Judas and Peter. I asked them which one of them betrayed Jesus. “Judas”, they all said confidentially. But the real answer is both. Why, then, is Judas known for his betrayal, and Peter known as the “rock on which I’ll build my church?” Because Peter came back. Peter didn’t let the shame of his choices keep him from the great things that God had for him to do. He humbled himself, repented, and kept moving forward. Keep moving forward. God has big things in store for you.
6. Only love can melt a frozen heart.
And no, I’m not talking romantic love, which is one of the reasons I love this Disney movie above all others. It’s sacrificial love, the kind of love that God first gave to us on the cross. And unconditional love, the kind of love that He continues to show to us every single day, in spite of ourselves. It sometimes isn’t returned to us from others, but that’s okay, because it’s not about us anyway, it’s about them. It’s not naturally within us, it’s God-given. It’s a love that we have to ask Him to give us for others, to show us how to see others the way He sees them. That’s when this happens: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13 That is the love that melts the frozen hearts in others. Love that brings healing. Love that restores.