At The Movies – Beauty and the Beast
It is a tale that is as old as time, the fairy tale known as Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast is a story of transformation and the need for change and how sacrificial love is what it takes in order to see that change happen. Everyone loves a good before-and-after story. Beast’s monstrous exterior was a reflection of his heart, but he was made human again by experiencing Belle’s love. We use this classic Disney tale to show how God overlooks all of our flaws and sees the hidden potential in all of us. It is never too late to become the person God wants us to be.
Something To Talk About:
Beauty and the beast is your story and it is my story. We were all once beasts, until Jesus came to save us. This is a story of transformation, illustrating how people can be changed by love and how they can make a difference by choosing to love. Consider the following:
- Who could ever love a beast? In the movie the Beast says, “Oh, it’s no use. She’s so beautiful, and I’m. Well, look at me!” Mrs Potts replies, “You must help her to see past all that.” We are disobedient beasts on many occasions. It is easy to feel the same way the Beast did. That no one will be able to look past our yuck and problems to really love us. That we are too messed up and unattractive to Him. That we are too guilty to receive God’s love. That we are beasts incapable of receiving or returning the love from the God of the universe. Does God really love me? Even when I feel unloved and unlovable? Even when the beast comes out in me? The answer is God already sees past all that. No matter how much or how badly people have sinned, God’s love can still reach us. The worst person you can imagine can receive God’s forgiveness by humbly asking for it. There’s no such thing as a person God no longer wants. There are only people who haven’t accepted His love. The Lord Almighty loves us unconditionally. Whether or not you love Him back, God will always love you. Psalm 23:6 says, “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” Think of the word follow as a relentless, unyielding pursuit. God’s love and His mercy are always pursuing us.
- The beauty that can transform a beast: This story of transformation, of redemption, is the greatest story ever. Versions of this story of redemption pop up all over culture. Beauty and the Beast is an example. Who doesn’t want to see the fallen hero restored? Who doesn’t hold out for redemption? Who doesn’t want to see the beast transformed? The Bible gives us the ultimate story of transformation. It is not just the story of my transformation or yours. The Bible tells the story of our transformation. If you want God to change your life then begin by changing your mind and trust in Him to help you to change your ways. The beauty of God’s love can change any beast. God will do only what He can do, and take you from where you are to where you are called and destined to be. By choosing to know Him more through daily, believing-trusting-depending-on-God decisions, I am transformed. The time it takes to be completely transformed is in God’s hands, but I can trust Him to lead the charge and finish the work He began in me. Philippians 1:6, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
- We all have a bit of the beast and the beauty Inside of us. Agree or disagree and why?
- God gives us the freedom to choose the beauty or the beast. How?
- In what ways does the movie make it’s points about beauty being found within? How is that reflected in the characters?
- Our goal in life should not be to find ourselves, but to find out who God created us to be? Is it comforting to know that Jesus is able to look past the sinful/beastly parts of you and love you just as you are?
- What does a transformed heart mean to you?
- Why do you think God loves us so unconditionally? In the list of things that describe God’s loves for you, what encourages you the most?
- What can we do this week to help the transformation process?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any event from your past that has made you feel unlovable or doubt God’s love for you.
Take One Thing Home with You:
There is a song in Beauty and the Beast entitled “If I Can’t Love Her.” That song includes these words: “In my twisted face there’s not the slightest trace of anything that even hints of kindness. And from my tortured shape no comfort, no escape. I see but deep within is utter blindness.” Utter hopelessness and despair are reflected in these words. That may be how we feel. But no matter how bad things may be, no matter how broken you may seem, there is always hope that God can transform you. There’s always hope for change.
That change happens through sacrificial love. It happens because God continues to love us even when we are most unlovable. He will not let us go. There is always hope, no matter how broken you may seem, how addicted, or how failed your life may be, there’s always hope with God. Christ’s suffering and death on the cross is the most powerful and profound example of the love that God has for us and the lengths, the ends to which God is willing to go in order to save, redeem and transform us.