While reading several reviews of the movie #UNBROKEN, a few things struck me about the difference between the followers of the Way of Truth and everybody else. Unbroken is the biggest surprise hit movie of the Christmas 2014 series and is based on the actual life of Louis Zamperini. Zamperini was born of Italian immigrants and became a US Olympian athlete in the famed 1936 Olympics where the great Jesse Owens showed up the folly of Adolph Hitler's master race.
Later on, Zamperini became a bombardier during World War II where he flew B24's over the Pacific, only to be shot down by the Imperial Japanese army and captured. Imprisoned, beated, tortured and worse by the most cruel types of humans who paralleled the nazis, Zamperini survived and a decade later was still full of revenge against his captors.....that is, until he met the world's greatest modern evangelist Billy Graham and Christ changed his life.
The current movie, directed by Angelina Jolie, does an excellent job of Zamperini's Japanese camp years but this full testimony to the Power of Christ - CAPTURED BY GRACE - can be seen for free here and ordered for a simple donation as a DVD, if you wish to share with others.
What is striking about this true life testimony to the Power of Love and forgiveness is the reaction of the two men who were on opposite sides of that war. Zamperini was full of hate and revenge against the brutal Japanese yet when Christ changed his life, he went out of this way to avoid even embarassing the family of his chief captor and persecutor - Matsuhiro Watanabe. (CLICK HERE TO SEE WATANABE's 60 MINUTES INTERVIEW FROM OVER A DECADE AGO). Watanabe did not have that same humility or spirit of repentance and/or Christian love in him, as he was not redeemed by the Savior and died an unrepentant man. In fact, he blamed his actions in the WWII Japanese prison on nationalism, rather than personal sin - the prerequisite to becoming a child of the King.
One man demonstrated the Power and Love of God, and on the other side, the other demonstrated the Pride and Loathing of the god of this world, through extreme nationalism and messed up priorities.
One man had the peace and love that passes ALL understanding, the other passed the buck.
One man (Louis Zamperini) lived a full life (he died in 2014 at age 97) and found out what a new study was released from the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and the Culture on Christmas Eve 2014 proved: that people who attended worship services regularly were almost twice as happy than does who did not. According to the survey here, 45 percent of weekly worshipers are more able to cope with life and be happier. In the opposite direction, those who reported as "very unhappy" were twice as many and in the group which never goes to any service at all! (You can read the entire survey here).
As a new year begins and we reflected on what is truly important in life, and how we should live any remaining years, let us resolve to start here: (1 John 4: 7-11)