Disney’s The Kid. We see Russell Duritz. He crucifies people. Leaves wreckage behind. He is a heartless man. What is wrong with him? What’s his story? “What have I become? How did this happen to me?” Have you ever felt that way about yourself? Ever wondered how you got this way?
Where along the way did I lose heart?
The heart is the center of human personality. Jesus wants your heart close to Him. The heart is the center of the action. “It is wicked” – yes, no doubt … before Jesus gets a hold of it. Acts 15:9 “God purified the heart”. Matthew 13 – the parable of the sower – “The seed that fell on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart.” As a believer in Christ, you have a new heart, a good heart. We no longer want to sin. That isn’t our desire. We still sin but our heart doesn’t want to go there. Christ has removed your heart of stone and given you a heart of flesh. It is your heart that Jesus came to rescue and restore.
Through our wounds and our pain, many of us have hardened our heart. That’s what we see in Russell Duritz – he’s a jerk and runs over people and hasn’t shed a tear since his 8th birthday. His heart is hard. And this happens to all of us – this is a brutal world for the heart. And we find ourselves not being the man we wanted to be. Feeling our future is uncertain, fear compels us. That’s where the perfection comes from. It’s where our emotional distance comes from. Our drivenness. The anger is rooted deeply in … the heart.
John shared his story. Working in Washington DC. Driven man. Crisp. Sharp. Intense. Untouchable. Angry. Lead, follow or get out of the way. Brutal perfectionist. Began to notice that he didn’t have any close friends. That his anger was just beneath the surface. No real interest in God the Father. No interest in “Father”. Jesus yes but not the Father. Uncomfortable around men. His anger would especially come out around older men – particularly older men above him that weren’t leading well. Married but totally emotionally distant from his wife. Affair with his work. Consumed with fear. “Life is up to me.”
Finally he had to deal with it and had a counselor go deep with him to figure out where all this was coming from. He dug into his story. He had a great few years with his Dad, traveling with him, camping and fishing all the time and then his Dad fell into alcoholism and he disappeared. No Dad. He didn’t know how to handle it or interpret it. “I must not be worth fighting for.” The camping trips ended, fishing trips ended. Family blew apart. John started acting out, rebelling, getting in trouble, arrested. It was a cry of “engage with me, rescue me”. In John’s wounded-ness he made the agreement, “I’m on my own. I’ll never need anyone.”
The arrow pierced his heart and rather than asking God to heal it, he just shoved it in deeper. “I can live heartless. Fine. Who needs a heart?” He became driven and emotionless. Do you now see how he became this driven, emotionless, angry man who didn’t trust older men?
The core question of a man of “Do I have what it takes?” Our wounds tell us “no” via the silence. The question has never been answered and so we’re haunted by the doubt that “I’m not”. In The Kid, we think Russell is just a jerk and then we hear his story. There’s always a story. Always a story. Beneath every posing man is a wounded boy. This is a brutal world on a boy’s heart.
The Father/Son relationship is the primary relationship in this world. Every boy needs to know that – 1) his father adores him – and – 2) have the core question answered of “Do I have what it takes?” Even Jesus needed these.
Dad has the power to bless by giving his son these and he has the power to cripple a boy by withholding them. How about you? Did your Dad do these things for you? Do you see how if you didn’t get this foundation from him how it could have shaped your personality today? This isn’t an exercise to go and blame our Dad’s. No, this is an effort to find the pain. Many of us will rewind the tapes of our lives only back so far – maybe to college or when we got married and we haven’t been willing to go back to the things that shaped us as kids. That is where we need to go to ask Jesus into those places so He can heal them and you can be restored.
Are you willing to talk about it? Are you willing to go to the pain?