I don’t know how many of you have watched the new Disney movie, Cruella. We have seen it twice now and it really provoked my thinking.
Cruella was treated very wickedly as a child. Her name was Estella. There is a pivotal scene in the movie where Estella decides to embrace who she concludes she really is – Cruella. Thus the origin of one of the most evil characters in the Disney collection who sets out to exact her revenge.
When we have been on the receiving end of abuse, when we come to underestand this evil – its mentality and tactics and goals – we have a choice to make. We can follow Christ and walk with Him wherever He goes, experiencing all that He receives at the hands of a world that hates Him – and thereby walk into freedom. Or, we can choose to become Cruella and spend the rest of our life seeking vengeance and retribution, lashing out at anyone who misunderstands us, triggers us, or in some way causes the videos in our minds to replay. This latter path is the path to continued bondage and misery. It is the path to becoming a practitioner of the very evils our abuser utilized against us.
The Bible is what I like to describe as “condensed soup.” Its words are packed with wisdom and insight that we must, by the Spirit in us, “unpack” like a zip file so that the truths in even one verse can open up before us. Such a verse is this:
Rom 12:19-21 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (20) To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Estella was overcome by evil when she determined to be Cruella. Don’t go down that path yourself. Hunger and thirst for justice, yes. Appeal to Caesar as far as the law of this world allows. Take steps to get free of an abuser. But never permit yourself to be overcome by evil, so that you become an evildoer yourself.