“A BIBLICAL LESSON FROM BARBIE” #ChurchOfTheUndead
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IN THIS EPISODE: In the Barbie movie, one of the common dilemmas Barbie faces is that those around her assume things about her, and those opinions become her worth…
MENTIONS, SOURCES, AND LINKS…
(Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
Source Article: “What Was I Made For?” by Cally Logan: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/yck8pjfv
Source Article” The Peculiar Reason Life Feels Empty When It’s Full” by Becky Weber: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/bder387w
Darren Marlar is a licensed minister through the Universal Life Church: https://www.themonastery.org. Find his other podcast, Weird Darkness, in your favorite podcast app at https://weirddarkness.com/listen. “Church Of The Undead” theme music by Epidemic Sound.
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46
Find out how to escape eternal darkness at https://weirddarkness.com/eternaldarkness
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INTRO: Slight spoiler alert here. In the Barbie movie, one of the common dilemmas Barbie faces is that those around her assume things about her, and those opinions become her worth. From the start of the film, the main character, Stereotypical Barbie, becomes self-conscious when she is no longer functioning like the other Barbies. She finds that her feet no longer stand at perfect tippy-toe normal, and the other Barbies react poorly and encourage her to find the cause and solution with “Weird Barbie,” who has a knack for fixing abnormal Barbies. Even further in the movie, when Barbie meets a group of teens, they tell her who she is, what she stands for, and call her harsh names without hearing more than a handful of words from her. This leads us to ask, are we the sum of what others think of us, and should we wear their opinions upon us? The answer is not simple because, unlike Barbie, we are complex human beings.
OPEN: Hello, Weirdos – I’m Pastor Darren – welcome to the Church of the Undead. Here in the Church of the Undead I can share ideas which are relevant to those who suffer with depression, need some encouragement, and for those who love (or are just curious about) the God of the Bible. And it doesn’t matter if you are a Weirdo-in-Christ or just a Weirdo – everyone is welcome here at the Church of the Undead. And I use the word “undead” because here we are DEAD to sin and ALIVE in Christ! If you want to join this Weirdo congregation, just click that subscribe or follow button – and visit us online at WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH. Full disclosure – I might use the term “pastor” because I’ve branded this feature as a church – but I do not have a theology degree, nor did I ever go to Bible college. I’m just a guy who gave his life to Christ in 1989 and has tried to “walk the walk” every since – and has stumbled a lot along the way – because, like everybody else, I am an imperfect, heavily-flawed human being. So please don’t take what I say as gospel; dig into God’s word yourself for confirmation, inspiration, and revelation. That being said, welcome to the Church of the Undead.
MESSAGE: The beauty of movies is that it is storytelling in a form we can hear and see in action. For thousands of years, people have learned lessons, been challenged within, and grasped concepts through the art of storytelling, and movies add to that medium of learning. Perhaps this is why many of us find a particular movie we watch repetitively, because it speaks to a place within our souls that we are trying to understand more clearly through the journey of another, or it resonates a feeling of a shared expression or experience. Movies are a gift to us, and possibly instead of taking them at a passing glance, we should question what we can learn from the movies that seem to linger a little longer than we had first expected.
Barbie. She became whatever others thought she should be – she took their opinions onto herself to become whatever it is they thought she should be.
But we’re not plastic dolls – we’re human. Perhaps the question should not be, “Are we the sum of what others think of us, and should we wear their opinions upon us?” but rather, “What does God think of me, and what do I think of me?”
Isn’t that more important? Opinions, judgments, and assumptions of others can change as quickly as the weather, but what God offers is the only form of actual truth. His reality is the only true reality.
Barbie was made for children to play with. Who were you made for? We aren’t dolls made from a plastic mold (no matter how much plastic surgery you might’ve had); we are artfully and uniquely made. Psalm 139:13-16 explains it: “For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
When we consider that David’s words in this Psalm are not just imagination, but they are truth, it changes how we look at our bodies, spirits, and lives. If a Creator truly makes us to be one of a kind, then perhaps our purpose is as uniquely designed as we are. It also reminds us that we were made not just for this time and this world but also for a Creator that genuinely cares for us. We were made to love and worship God, to do this life with Him, and to live out the one-of-a-kind life set before us.
Barbie’s relationships are, in reality, one-sided… she can’t love you back as an inanimate object. But we were made for relationships. From the first days of perfection in the Garden of Eden, it was clear that we were made for relationship with God and one another. Genesis 2:18 explains God’s mindset for relationship with one another, “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
God already had a relationship with Adam, the first man, in the Garden, but God saw that it would be good for Adam to have a suitable partner. As human beings, we are made for relationship with one another, sharing and doing life with one another, and this is done most healthily and beneficially when we allow God to tell us who those people are. God brought Adam the partner of His choosing because she would be God’s best for Adam, and when we allow Him to choose who sits at our table, we can truly experience the abundance that comes from God’s best in relationship. We were ultimately made for relationship with God. In this relationship, we not only come to know more of Him, but come to find why we were made for this time, this place, and this station in life.
That’s right – you were made for this moment… right now… this very instant… to be here on Earth.
In the book of Esther, her uncle remarks that perhaps she was chosen for the role of Queen for “such a time as this,” and it was made clear through her story that her station in life and the exact timing of her life were intentional. All God needed was her obedience and willingness to walk out the life set before her, and the same is true for us. Of all the years humankind has walked this earth, you were born to live in this exact time, don’t think for one moment that fact is merely coincidence. You were made for this exact period in time, and your life holds value and meaning in the story of humanity. Your ideas, perspectives, and impact on others last far more than your years on this earth. Your impact is forever.
You were made for God, and you were made to be you. No one else has walked in your shoes, lived your life, or experienced what you have experienced, and no one else can offer what you have gathered in your lifetime but you. Ask God to help you experience more of His heart through relationship, and in the course of coming to get to know Him, ask Him, “Why?” Ask Him why you were chosen for this specific time, why you were born where you were, why you experienced what you have, and what purpose the answers to those questions hold in this moment or for a time yet to come. You were made to be loved by God and to live the life only you were destined to live.
If you aren’t feeling that though – if you feel that you are somehow unfulfilled or empty despite being created for relationships in the here and now… don’t fret. You’re not alone.
My life has not been perfect, but I have definitely been blessed. I have a wonderful bride, I’m able to work from home doing a job I love; were are both relatively healthy, we can pursue things we’re passionate about… there’s really not a lot about my life at this moment that I would change.
Yet at times, it can still feel like something is missing. From the outside, you would think that I would be so happy and content. If people were to see what is really going on inside of me, they would see that there is a temporary feeling of satisfaction, but soon it wears off. Like Barbie’s hollow head and body, it’s like there is a hole in my soul… that is only meant to be filled by one individual, and that is God.
Our lives can start to feel empty when we try to find what we can only get from God, instead of the things of this world. We can be tempted by all the flashy and pretty things that our society tries to make us believe will fill our souls – Barbie’s Dream House, Barbie’s Ferrari, Barbie’s clothing lines, Barbie’s… well… you see where I’m going. For we flesh-and-blood folks, it can be anything from the latest beauty product that will make us look ten years younger, having the newest model of a certain car, making more money, or even that certain person who we think will meet every need that we have.
And it may bring us satisfaction and happiness… in the short term, but after a bit, the newness and excitement start to wear off. The satisfaction does not last long, and we are right back to where we started again. Looking for that certain thing that will fill us again with excitement, and we can repeat this over and over many times, fooling ourselves that the next thing surely should make a difference. Take a look at the people who collect Barbie dolls and accessories… or coins, or stamps, or guns, or baseballs cards, or horror memorabilia… you probably know someone who is always trying to collect the next thing for their stash that they are so excited about it… until they have it, and then have to move on to the next exciting thing to collect for their stash. This excitement never lasts, the satisfaction wanes, and we are left with the same hole that was in our soul before.
We don’t need to look hard to find an example of this even in the Bible. King Solomon was one of the wealthiest and most well-known kings that we read about in the Old Testament. He started out well, asking the Lord for wisdom and even being known for finishing the temple. But as we keep reading, things eventually go downhill for him. He accumulates a lot of wealth, which never is enough. He does get married, but that also gets out of control; he ends up having 700 wives and 300 concubines! And you thought Barbie had a lot of boyfriends named Ken! Solomon’s wives lead him away from God, and he ends up worshipping idols. He has all of this, and yet it is not enough. The book of Ecclesiastes shows some of his thoughts on the matter. In Chapter 2:11, Solomon says: “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”
He did not deny himself anything and still felt empty. His life is the perfect example of this. We will never be satisfied totally with what this world has to offer.
As I said earlier, we were made to have a relationship with God. Our complete purpose will only come from him. The hole in our souls will only be filled by him. Everything that we do in this life and all that we acquire comes from him. He will never let us get complete satisfaction from the things that he gives us. We are meant to walk with him every day, and do life with him.
Another purpose we have on this earth is to glorify our creator and point others toward him. We were made in his image (not like Barbie from a plastic mold – but in His image spiritually), and we are meant to reflect this image. That is such a high calling, whether we realize it or not. We get the honor of pointing people to Jesus. It might not be done perfectly, but that is when we need to rely on him to help us live it out.
I’ve been the person who has been at both ends of this. I’ve been the one who thought I would be happy if I got a certain title or accumulated all the things that I wanted, or had a certain girlfriend. Not that all of those things are bad, mind you, but that is not what I was meant for. I am created to reflect my Creator to those around me. To my surprise, this has given me more purpose than anything else. It keeps me from being concerned so much about what others think I should be, how I should act, what I should do, like Barbie’s existential crisis in her movie.
But, as they say… life happens. Okay, I changed that a bit, but you know what I mean. At some point, even if things are going well for us, it will feel like something is still missing. It is so easy for us as humans to try and find satisfaction in the things of this world – it’s almost the factory setting we keep falling back to when we aren’t paying attention.
We search and we search for satisfaction from anything we can – often forgetting the one who has given us everything. So what do we do when life does start to feel empty?
Ultimately, we need to change our perspective. Stop daydreaming about owning your own Barbie Motorhome, or dating the perfect guy named Ken, or having the largest wardrobe ever created for one person. Stop fantasizing about winning the lottery, thinking it will solve all of your problems and feelings of inadequacy and contentment.
Ask the Lord to remind you of how much he alone satisfies, and of how much you need him. He wants us to enjoy the blessings and the gifts he gives us – even material things – but again we need to remember that these are things that were never meant to fulfill us.
To keep the right mindset, we can learn to have the Lord as our primary motivation for living our lives. While we are working, we can do it for the Lord; if we are taking care of our kids, we can ask him to give us energy, or if we are enjoying something we have been blessed with, we can thank the Lord for it. It is all about keeping our focus and perspective on God so we remember where our purpose and worth come from.
The benefit of learning to live out of the worth I have in Jesus is that I grow in my relationship with him. With him as my focus, I tend to keep him involved in my daily life. As I experience life with him, I also experience his goodness, kindness, and faithfulness. He is always with me, no matter if I acknowledge him or not. As long as I stay focused on him, my life does not feel empty. It feels full.
I would encourage you to really take a look at your life, and ask the Lord to point out areas you are trying to find your worth and identity from other than in him. The gifts and things that he gives us in this life are not bad things, but it becomes harmful when we use those things for their unintended purposes. It will take self-awareness and the ability to admit when we are wrong. I have lived my life both ways, and I know what the better choice is. Choose to get your worth, identity, and purpose from Jesus. This is what we are created for. Barbie was created for a few years of playtime – we were created for an eternal life in Christ.
Once we realize this, we won’t need to wonder or worry about what others think of us, and what we should be, or who we should be… and we will live our lives not just to the fullest, but our lives will feel more full as well.
CLOSE: If you like what you heard, share this episode with others whom you think might also like it. Maybe the person you share it with will want to join this Weirdo congregation too! To join this Weirdo family yourself, find us on Facebook, listen to previous messages, even find out how to join me in my daily bible studies, visit WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH. That’s WeirdDarkness.com/CHURCH. You can find the sources I used for this week’s message in the show notes. I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me, Weirdos. Until next time, Jesus loves you and so do I. God bless.