I don’t recommend the movie, Gladiator. It’s pretty gory in places. But there is one amazing scene that I remember vividly.
Russell Crowe plays the lead role as Maximus, a Roman general who falls out of favor with the emperor and is later imprisoned. At one point, as a prisoner, he is forced to fight with other prisoners against Roman gladiators in the coliseum.
Now, keep in mind that the gladiators are trained soldiers with chariots. Most of the prisoners are peasants with no real military experience. And as the prisoners stand waiting for the gladiators to enter the arena, Maximus tells the others, “Whatever comes out of these gates, we have a better chance of survival if we work together. If we stay together, we survive.”
Amazingly, they do stick together and they do survive. And not only do they survive but they actually end up beating the gladiators because they stick together.
Yes, I know it’s a fictional story, but it’s a great scene with a deep truth: We are much stronger together than we are if we are separated.
We all struggle at times.
- The married man who struggles, day after day, with inappropriate thoughts toward his coworker.
- The employee who sees how easy it is to steal from the employer. Inside, she knows it’s wrong. But others do it regularly. What could it hurt?
- The mother whose young children are driving her crazy. There are times she just wants to lash out at them.
- The frustrated single person who wants to stay pure, but finds that very difficult in a sex-crazed culture.
- The church leader who allows himself a little self-indulgence now and then because, after all, he’s not really hurting anyone.
- The young person who knows how easy it is to cheat on a test in school, but also knows it’s wrong.
- Or the person who is too easily influenced by the wrong person or the wrong crowd into watching inappropriate entertainment choices.
All of these – and so many others – need the strength that comes from being in a godly relationship with others.
There is nothing that the enemy of your soul would like better than for you to believe that you can live this Christian life without anyone else’s help.
At the same time, there is nothing the devil fears more than true Christians who are united. So, if that’s true, then if I was the devil, my primary tactic would be to bring disunity in the Church. If he can succeed at that, then the Church is crippled.