As I have reflected on the film watching experience, several thoughts have come to mind.
(Let me also warn that this movie is rated "R" for a reason. It shows the evil that lives among us, and as such it has strong language, questionable morality, and horror. I do not recommend it for children under the age of 15, at least.)
First, I have thought about God's word. In Psalm 18:34 and Psalm 144:1, King David intimates of the LORD,
"He trains my hands for battle" (Psalm 18:34)
"Praise be to the LORD my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle." (Psalm 144:1)
It is not something we usually like to emphasize, but the fact is when a man or woman has been equipped for battle, like Chris Kyle obviously was, their "gifts" come from God.
I really like how Kyle himself explains it. Throughout his life, as seen in the movie, he was more interested in the number of lives he saved, than the number of lives he had to take. He did his job, and his job was to make sure more men and women made it home to their families after the battle.
I am certain there are many warfighters and their families who thank God for people like Chris Kyle.
Second, I thought the movie carried a realistic picture of military life and what it must like to be engaged in battle. War is not glamorous, and warfighters are not perfect or without fear. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act even when afraid. That was evident in the film.
Third, I thought it makes us aware of the sacrifices warfighter make on our behalf. They do not enter the service of their country lightly, and they understand the costs.
In one scene, Kyle is depicted with his wife lamenting the fact that there is a war going on, and everyone seems to be oblivious to it.
I believe we need to think more regularly about the sacrifices being made, honor them, and choose to live courageously in the freedom we have been given.
And this leads me to my last thought, "Do we know how to live well in the freedoms we have been given?"
It intrigues me to consider how often warfighters find their purpose in battle, and yet when the battle is over, too many have a hard time finding a new purpose.
Is not the purpose of engaging in war, the necessary evil, to gain us the freedom we crave? Yet once the freedom has been won, we seem to have a hard time finding purpose for the freedom.
In Galatians 5:1, Paul says,
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
We are free to serve Jesus, yet too often we either misunderstand the reason we are free, or we simply allow ourselves to be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I encourage us all to learn to live in the freedom we have been given as US citizens, and offer that freedom to God for His purposes and His glory!
What about you? Did you see the movie? Do you have thoughts? I invite you to share them, or any reflections on what I have written, as we journey together along the Way ...