Pay It Forward

No, I have not seen the movie. But if the previews on television are any faithful indication of the movie, we probably all have a fairly good guess of at least part of the story line. A small boy does a good deed to three people who are told to pay the kindness they received forward to three others. I assume that through this manner a geometric avalanche of love and kindness cascades through the city and perhaps even beyond.
In contrast to such ethical rudders as ?give?em what they deserve,? this movie will probably release a breath of fresh air into what is generally a stifling cinematic landscape. Sure it is a powerful idea, but is treating people with love regardless of whether they deserve it so very novel?
To the twelve disciples who without any merit on their part had been endowed with the powers of the Spirit to heal the body and banish demons, Jesus instructed, ?Freely you have received, freely give.? Matthew 10:8 The disciples were to pay forward the fruit of the blessings they had received.
While we were still enemies, God poured out His love toward us through Christ. God actively pursued our welfare even though we did not deserve it. And so, through His grace God has raised us up out of death to seat us with Christ. And now that we have been transformed and clothed with Christ, what are we to do? Instead of repaying evil with evil, we are to pay forward His love and grace by overcoming evil with good. We are to love our enemies and do good to those who would desire to use and mistreat us.
If the message of the movie ?Pay It Forward? is what I suspect it is, perhaps we will find work colleagues and others commenting about this wonderfully new and radical idea which could infuse our world with some positive social transformation. What a tremendous opportunity we will have to tell them of God’s love and how God wants His people to pay forward His love. Best of all, we are not limited to three times!

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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