Chris Pratt recently won the Generational Award during the MTV Movie and TV Awards show and shared his “Nine Rules from Chris Pratt.” His speech contained surprisingly God-inspired advice interspersed with humorous tips.
If you haven’t watched it yet, here you go:
There was one point I was especially impressed with. While his advice on pooping during a party to avoid stinking up the place was rather helpful, my favorite piece of advice was when he explained:
“Don’t be a turd. If you’re strong, be a protector, and if you’re smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons, and do not wield them against the weak. That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.”
This isn’t just good advice; this is the way of God’s Kingdom.
Look at it more closely. What is Pratt referring to? This is the upside down Kingdom that Jesus modeled for us.
We typically hear stories of misuse of authority and power:
-Leaders abusing their role to gain money and power
-Pastors using their authority to control and abuse those within their congregation
-Husbands using scripture to dominate or even abuse their families
-Kids using their strength or popularity to bully their schoolmates
The list goes on.
God’s Kingdom is different from the world. God’s Kingdom is turned on its head. Jesus gave up His high position and humbled Himself when He came to earth as a helpless infant. Jesus never used His authority to control others. He empowered others through His love.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Jesus was a friend of the lowliest–“sinners” and tax collectors. He had a reputation of being a glutton and a drunkard (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34). He used his position of influence with the disciples by teaching them to love and serve. Jesus washed the disciples feet (John 13:1-17).
This is what I teach my children also. I encourage my children to be the best they can be–strong, smart, hard-working. I praise them in the ways they are gifted. I also tell them that in all these things, they have a responsibility.
Just as Pratt was explaining, we don’t use intelligence as a weapon. We use intelligence as a tool to empower others. Strength is not for the purpose of hurting others; it’s for protecting.
I had a conversation with my daughter the other day that made me one proud mama. My daughter is very friendly and popular. She makes friends very easily. During recess, she spotted a girl from her class who was all alone. This girl is rather shy, so my daughter walks over to her and invites her to play with the group. Now this girl was able to meet lots of new friends.
Some kids may use their popularity to tease and bully others. In God’s Kingdom, it’s used as a platform to include others who feel left out and lonely.
The way of the Kingdom needs to infiltrate our entire lives if we consider ourselves children of God. Here are some examples of what this looks like:
-Use financial abundance to bless those in need
-Use influence to promote positive changes
-Use your strength to protect and help others
-Use your wisdom and experience to mentor others
-Use your knowledge to teach others
-If you have a business, employ others
-If you have a house, open your home to others
-If you have a skill, teach others
Think of what this world would look like if followers of Jesus understood what authority truly means. Imagine the change that would come from believers understanding the responsibility they have when God blesses them with money, talent, and resources. All of these things are meant to be a blessing to those around us.
What could you add to the list? What are some ways you can use your gifts to bless and empower others?