DISCLAIMER: I have not read any of the books in the “50 Shades of Grey” series, seen any of the movie trailers or plan to watch the movie. However, there have been enough commentary and information published in blogs and news articles to get a very good idea about the movie.
Everywhere I turn I am hearing about 50 Shades of Grey. Sold out movie times, Valentine’s Day presents, husbands/boyfriends taking their wives/girlfriends because the women enjoyed the books, Target putting sex toys next to kid’s toothbrushes, dozens of social media posts condemning the movie.
So why is this movie grabbing so much of our time and attention? Why is there a deep secret desire in so many people to see the movie? Why are so many people screaming from the mountain tops against the movie?
May I take you on a different journey about the obsession our culture is having over 50 Shades? On this journey I want to tell you about my journey with fear and how it led me down a road to control.
In a day when we have so much going on we cannot control, we look for things we can control. For people like Mr. Grey who find success in the business world, there is a tendency to detach from things that matter in pursuit of corporate success. Lack of deep and genuine relationships lead to a feeling of loneliness. The loneliness can be set aside for a time, but eventually it becomes so powerful it turns into a fear.
Fear, we all have them. Fear of the boogie monster helped Disney create a successful kids movie, Monsters Inc. Ever thought about why we are obsessed with movies that scare us? When we go to a horror movie, we expect to be scared, scared on our own terms. You get to superficially face your fear. When the movie is over, you can say that you were not scared, even if the guy sitting behind you heard you scream like a girl.
Fear is something we are told to conquer, squashing it, be bigger than the fear, don’t let them see you scared. The only problem, we all are fearing something today. It may be the fear of being caught doing something you know is wrong. Maybe it’s the fear of failure. Are you fearing the doctor’s report you will receive later this week? Have you been hearing rumors the company is downsizing and your department will be first in line for job cuts? Is the fear he might hurt you again? Do you fear being alone without anyone to love you?
We all have something we fear. So how do we handle the fear? We try to control it. Many will deny the fear and try to “white knuckle” their way through the day, hoping it will just go away, finding a way to medicate the fear with prescription drugs, narcotics, alcohol, or my favorite choice sex.
Reports show sex has the ability to medicate fears chemically with the same strength as cocaine. The dopamine hit you receive from engaging in a sexual act can be more powerful than any drug. So what happens when you start using pornography or illicit sex to mask the pain of your fears? You find success! Just one small problem, the image you viewed on the screen worked this time, but the strength of the hit will fade. There will be a need to control the fear again and the next time you will need something more.
Controlling the pain and fears of life is nothing new. We can find them going back for ages. God even tells us the temptations of masking the fears and pains are common to man. (1 Corinthians 10-:13) So why does it seem to be escalating at such a fast rate? Why are we as a society seeking out a movie that glorifies demeaning a woman and physical torture, all in the name of excitement and sex? FEAR and CONTROL!
If you are struggling to find a relationship or find a relationship with your spouse, you know the feeling of loneliness. The pain can be overwhelming. Would you be willing to do anything to ease the pain? Even turn to erotica or bondage? Escaping the pain seems to be a good and simple option, but is it the best?
Are you scared you are going to lose everything you have achieved in your job? Do you worry the few corners you cut to get the job done might be found out? If your wife knew about your secret to pornography would she leave you? Taking control of the situation makes sense, doesn’t it?
The only problem with hiding the fear and taking control, it will never be enough. The secrets create a secret life of shame and desperation. The secrets may bring you to a place where you believe hope is lost. But the real truth, hope is still available.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
There is a place to rest from your fears. You are not required or expected to carry the weight. But are you scared to let it go and live a different life?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
If you are willing to trust Christ with your fears and surrender them to him, he will give you all you are seeking.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV)
There is hope of a different life. Are you ready to let Jesus show you something better than living in fear? What if you started by giving up the Grey and letting Christ show you a better color, red.