Last night, for a family movie night, we watched The Lorax. It was a fun movie with a clear environmental message. What interested me about the movie was the character of the Lorax himself. He described his purpose by saying “I speak for the trees.” This was his job when a human came to threaten the magical forest. He wasn’t there to protect the trees by force, and he didn’t really have any great power to do so. His job was to speak on the tree’s behalf. The one time that the Lorax tried to take matters into his own hands it went very badly. In the end though, the Lorax just did his job. He pleaded his case on behalf of the trees and then watched sadly as his advice was ignored.
This got me thinking about our role as Christians. In a sense, our job is to speak for God. One of the strange things about God is that he loves to do his work through human hands. He always has. 2 Corinthians 5:20 tells us:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Our job is not to force others to believe. We can’t do that. Faith can never be forced. That goes against the very nature of God, and the way he created us. Our job is simply to speak for Him – to make his case. Some may listen to us, and some may reject what we say. We can’t control that.
The crusades come to mind as an example of getting this wrong. This was a time when people who claimed to be Christians tried to force their beliefs on others with the tip of the sword. Whether they honestly believed they were committing this injustice in His name, or if it was just a cheap excuse for their ambitions of conquest I will never know.
So let’s take a lesson from the Lorax and just do our job without getting discouraged. We may just end up surprised like he was at the end of the movie, when after a lifetime, his adversary finally did the right thing.
You can buy The Lorax Movie on combined Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital Copy.