Tag Archives: ten commandments

Man in the sky

invention of lying 2

Recently I watched this movie: the invention of lying. It’s a 2009 release, starring Jennifer Garner and Ricky Gervais, where they try to show how lying started. My small sister had me watching it after telling me she always wanted to watch that movie and even though I found it slow at first, I got curious…

In the movie, people live in an alternate reality, where no one knows what lying is. As a result, they are brutally honest, always hurting each other’s feelings; because truth is, as much as we condemn lying, those little white lies help a great deal.

Ricky Gervais’ character, Mark, had just lost his job and had been kicked out by his landlord. Frustrated, he decides to go close his bank out. When he gets to the counter the teller tells him the computers are down; so she asks him how much money he has in his account. Then, a reaction in his brain causes him to lie. Instead of saying he has $300 in his account, he says $800; the money he owes his landlord.

Right then, the computer comes back online and the teller finds out he has $300; but since no one knows what lying is, she believes him, assuming the computer made an error and she goes ahead to give him $800. That becomes the world’s first lie. Amazed at being able to say something that is not true, he goes to a bar and tells his friends about it.

After that first lie, he tells more lies, after realizing that sometimes lying is good because it prevents people from getting hurt, especially when the truths are really bitter and difficult to handle. He prevents his friend from getting arrested for drunk driving by lying to the traffic police that he is not really drunk, and prevents his frustrated neighbour from committing suicide.

Excited about his new discovery-lying-he calls up Anna; a beautiful, wealthy woman he wanted to go out with, but who didn’t like him as much because of his bad financial status and his physical appearance.

Later, Mark gets a call that his mom has suffered a heart attack. He goes to hospital and finds out his mom is dying and is really afraid to die because she is scared of ending up in nothingness. Compassionately, he tells her not to be afraid because she will be happy where she is going. He introduces the concept of afterlife and heaven.

Soon after, his mom dies and the doctors, who were listening in the entire time he was talking to his mom marvel at the whole concept of afterlife. The whole world gets to learn of his new discovery and people camp outside his house so he can tell them more about life after death.

Obviously he knew he had lied to his mother so she could pass on peacefully, but Anna asks how his mom felt after knowing she would be happy where she was going and how he personally felt when he helped his mom die in peace. He says he felt good in both instances. She asks him to imagine how he would feel helping the whole world if he told them all he knows.

Giving in to the pressure, he sits down to write what he would tell the world; which eagerly waits to hear his revelations. Eventually he steps outside with the ‘ten rules’ written on pizza boxes. Here I get the impression he is mimicking Moses, when he received the Ten Commandments from God on Mt. Sinai.

He goes on to read the rules, which he claims have been given to him by the ‘man in the sky’. Mark tells the people gathered outside his house that when they die they will go to a happy place where they will all live in mansions and eat ice cream, but that will be if they don’t do bad things.

They ask if the man in the sky is the one who causes cancer and accidents, to which he says yes. Enraged, they say they should get rid of the bastard in the sky before he causes them more harm. Mark quickly adds that the man in the sky also brings the good things too. In response they ask, “So the man in the sky is sought of a good guy and a bad guy?”

Mark shrugs and says yes. He tells them that the man in the sky rewards them for all the bad things they’ve gone through here on earth when they die.

After that revelation, there are numerous headlines in newspapers: man in the sky continues to kill babies with AIDS; man in the sky helps woman live for 104 years; man in the sky kills 40,000 people in tsunami.

Mark subsequently finds himself questioning the same things he told the people; for instance asking Anna not to sleep with someone she is not married to, then realizing she was going to give him a gift voucher for sex with her for his birthday. He feels befuddled when he realizes he just missed a golden opportunity to sleep with her.

When relaxing with his neighbour, who wanted to commit suicide, he asks if he is happy since the discovery of the man in the sky and if he’s found love, but he says he is just taking things easy because he knows he will eventually live happily when he dies.

From what I understood, the neighbour indirectly says, there is no need for one to struggle to be happy on earth because all that will be given on a silver platter when they die…

 

OBEY, if you will

ten commandments

If you will, you can keep the commandments, they will save you. If you trust in God, you too shall live. He has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for whichever you wish. Before a man are life and death, good and evil, and whichever he chooses will be given to Him. For great is the wisdom of the Lord; He is mighty in power and sees everything. The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, and He knows every deed of man. He has not commanded any one to be ungodly, and He has not given any one permission to sin (Sirach 15: 15-20).

This was Sunday’s reading in church. I chose to share it because it reinforces a belief I’ve always upheld; that no matter the situation, one has the power to choose; and this particularly applies to people who feel like they have to do something to please others or fit in, or one adopting some behaviour because that is what they were predisposed to by their surroundings.

If you will, you can keep the commandments– this words help anyone reading them understand that when God is dealing with us, He doesn’t impose His will on us; he has given us the power to choose. Whether one follows the commandments or not, that’s up to them; the good thing about following the commandments though is that by doing what’s in accordance to God’s will, we win His favour; and that will be translated into blessings, while here on earth, and eventually, eternal life. That is what I feel matters most; achieving salvation; spending forever by His side.

If you trust in God, you too shall live– Emphasis on the word ‘if’. Again, that’s a choice one has to make; to trust in Him or not. I’ll tell you why-one of the reasons-I love God. Just imagine, He has the power to smite anyone who disobeys Him, He is The Almighty, yet He doesn’t force anyone to trust in Him, or love Him. He loves us so much that He lets us make that choice. Now that’s upon every individual. He Himself says, He is a jealous God, but still, He doesn’t go wiping out all those who worship/believe in other gods.

Before a man are life and death, good and evil, and whichever he chooses will be given to him-it’s all about making choices. Whoever wishes to have eternal life will follow him; and whatever one desires, good or evil, that is what they will get. Sometimes when we mess we pin the blame on others: “I’m violent because I grew up watching my parents fight,” etc… but truth is, everyone has the chance to choose what they want. If one chooses violence, that is what they will get; if one chooses to be involved in crime, making others’ lives miserable, that is what they will get. If one chooses to ride against the current; do something good even when others around them are doing wrong, that is what they will get.

Whatever we ask for, we shall get. Sometimes making some choices might be tough especially if there’s no one there to offer support; however, I feel if one believes in something and desires it really bad, they shall get it.

He has not commanded anyone to be ungodly, and He has not given anyone permission to sin-but if one wishes to sin, or be ungodly, that’s their call. He has given us the freedom to choose; we can obey Him or not. But He would be happier if we obeyed, because like a good parent, He knows what’s right for each and everyone of His children. And unlike our earthly parents, His infinite wisdom makes Him privy to what lies ahead; He sees everything. So if we trust in Him, and live by His precepts, it’s happiness and life we choose.