“Mom, I want to go see the Lego Batman movie.” I cringed as I heard these words from my son. Do I really want to spend my life savings on this movie? As we all know, even a matinee movie nowadays is almost as expensive as going to Hawaii for vacation. At any rate, I am not a cartoon-movie kind of person. But the plea from my son to go see this movie caused me to relent and buy tickets.
As I watched the movie, I began to see real life struggles through the character of Batman. We all know this superhero’s main purpose is to save mankind from villains who seek to bring pain and suffering to others. Yet the plot shows us a deeper part of the personality of Batman. He lost his parents at a young age and remained an orphan. He pushes away anyone who wants to get close to him. Batman says that he does not need anyone in his life. He prefers to be alone and without family or community. This is his way of survival from the deep pain of losing his parents.
In one scene, Batman is looking longingly at a picture of his parents from when he was a child. Alfred the butler comes up behind him and begins to talk to him, “Bruce, what is your greatest fear?” Batman is unable to come up with a true statement. Alfred says to him, “Bruce, listen, your greatest fear is being a part of a family again.” Of course, the superhero denies such allegations and proceeds to claim he needs no one and that the assumption from Alfred is absurd.
"Bruce, what is your greatest fear?"
As the movie progresses, Batman begins to develop a connection with Robin, an orphan boy, and a lady friend. They work together to take down evil villians. Batman realizes that he is getting too emotionally close to these people and locks them up so they can’t help him take down the bad guys. Guess what? He fails!
Batman realizes he needs his friends. In order to let them back into his life, he must admit his greatest fear. He admits, “I am sorry for pushing you away. I am afraid of having to face the pain of being close to a family again.” This verbal ownership of his greatest fear began the process of healing the pain of loss in his life, and he was able to enter into authentic friendship.
The main theme in this story is, “Relational Fear”. Many of us experience life not knowing how much fear controls the way we handle circumstances and relationships. We have fears of being hurt, fears of loss, fears of rejection, and fears of loneliness. We experience these fears because we choose not to deal with the pain of the loss of a loved one, our broken relationships, or the rejection of someone we loved and trusted.
"Many of us experience life not knowing how much fear controls the way we handle circumstances and relationships."
As a result, we erect internal walls that keep us from feeling anything at all. Unfortunately, this will affect the way we allow Jesus to love us. Without His love, we live without purpose, power, or hope. Consequently, our hearts build callouses and become so hard that we aren’t able to enjoy authentic vulnerability, true friendship with others, or a trusting relationship with Jesus.
Jesus came to die for our fears, for our brokenness, and for our pain. He felt the rejection of mankind so we may be set free from the pain of rejection. He endured the loneliness of the cross so we can experience authentic relationship with Him and others. He took the punishment of the sins of all so we can walk in love and forgiveness. He provided a way for us to be set free from the bondage of fear through a relationship with Him.
I Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.”
Through Jesus, we have the power to stand up to fear and knock down any walls around our hearts that are keeping us in bondage from authentic relationship. How do you begin the process of taking down the walls of fear around your heart?
1. Face Your Fears
We must be willing to own where we have allowed walls to be built around our hearts. This will require a willingness to recognize our hurts, pains, and losses, so we can be set free from the fear controlling our lives. Journey with a counselor at Brentwood to help you navigate this well. Email firstname.lastname@example.org