Here’s the question: have any of you seen the movie, “Bruce Almighty?” We love that movie….one of our favorites! So much so, that we thought we‘d talk about it in this week’s post, because there’s so much to learn about unconditional love from that movie. One of the pillars of unconditional love is that it is not self seeking. In the movie, we see Bruce (the main character) transition from self-love to selfless love (U Love). It is quite a journey for him, we must say. And, as we follow Bruce’s transformation, we can see at work, first hand, just how the principle of U Love is not self seeking.
Here’s the synopsis for those unfamiliar with the movie. In the beginning, Bruce is all about himself, his job, his money….and just… Bruce, Bruce, Bruce. He does love Grace (his girlfriend), but in a very conditional way. The condition is that Bruce satisfies his own needs before any of Grace’s. In their relationship, Bruce comes first and Grace comes second (if at all). Grace, on the other hand, is very loving, patient, and supportive of Bruce. But, she clearly has been long suffering in waiting for Bruce to settle down and show her real love.
This is glaringly apparent in the scene where Bruce and Grace are out to dinner at a fine restaurant. Bruce has indicated to Grace that he has something quite important to tell Grace. Naturally, Grace thinks Bruce is finally realizing how much he loves her and will be asking her to marry him. At dinner, Bruce gets down on one knee, acting like he’s going to propose. Grace gets emotional thinking Bruce is finally about to ask her to marry him. At the height of the tears and flowing of emotions, Bruce drops the big news. He got a greatly desired promotion at work. That’s the big news. Again, it’s all about Bruce.
In that same scene, you see Bruce just swelling up with pride, fully consumed with himself and his happiness, yet completely disregarding the disappointment on Grace’s face at what the big news turned out to be. What a perfect picture of self-love. Bruce thinks that he’s being fulfilled and made complete with this kind of self-love; but he soon finds out he’s seriously mistaken.
God has entered the picture. He takes hold of Bruce and starts to teach Bruce quite a few lessons about life. First, God gives Bruce all of His own supernatural powers. Bruce, now, could control the world. At first, Bruce loves having all of those special powers. He is able to make everything in his own life happen just the way he wants it to be (there’s that self-love again). However, things quickly start to go awry.
Bruce is so focused on loving and pleasing himself that he greatly neglects everyone else….including Grace. He doesn’t even notice that the world, along with his relationship with Grace, is falling to pieces. By the time he realizes all of this, it’s too late. The world, along with Bruce’s life, is a complete mess; and Bruce has lost Grace, whom he doesn’t seem to be able to get back.
Through the complete breakdown of his life, Bruce finally starts to realize what was truly important to him….and how his self-love drove it out of his life. Bruce realizes that everything he thought would bring him happiness did not compare to the love he had from Grace (for whom he is now starting to feel unconditional love.)
After multiple epiphanies, Bruce begins to turn his life around. You see him helping others in countless ways as he starts to show selfless love. And, low and behold, he discovers that selfless love satisfies him much more than the conditional love ever did. Bruce actually gets to such a selfless place in his heart, that when God asks Bruce if he wants Grace back, Bruce prays for Grace and tells God no. Bruce would rather that Grace be with someone who will love her right and see her through God’s eyes.
Whoa….that’s unconditional love my friends! It turns out in the end, once Bruce’s heart has changed from self-love to unconditional love, that everything in his life falls back into place. For those romantics who like a happy ending, Bruce and Grace do get back together and build their life together on a foundation of U Love.
This movie demonstrates many U Love principles as it traces Bruce’s steps from selfish to selfless love. We see God orchestrating events in order to break and change Bruce for the better. The outcome? We see that, in the end, Bruce is willing to lay aside his love for Grace, so that Grace can find happiness (even if it means not getting what he wanted). And haven’t we said that a giant step towards U Love is being able to look at others through God’s eyes? Well, this movie exemplifies that, too! Bruce finally sees Grace as the beautiful person she is. It absolutely changes him.
As we see from this movie, when we begin to understand and experience God’s true unconditional love, it ends up fulfilling us more than any other kind of love could. Our lives can come to a satisfying, complete, and good place. As Bruce often says in the movie, “It’s GOOOOOOD!!!” LOL Until next week…Ciao!
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