Lessons from Bruce Almighty

Possible spoilers in this post: Depending on how you read the following it could be seen as spoilers if you want to see the film. As it was released in 2003 I figure you may have seen it already.

One of my favourite movies is Bruce Almighty. It is a fun movie that I have watched a number of times. It is a movie about Bruce’s life with some interactions with God along the way.

Without giving too much away to those who have not seen it, Bruce is a TV Reporter who does wacky stories for his local TV station. His desire though is to be a serious news anchor but he feels stunted in his career opportunities.

As I watched the movie I found some truths we can draw from that can help us in our everyday life. Here are some observations I made.

1. Bruce was ambitious for the wrong things
Bruce desperately wanted to be a serious news anchor and he felt he was held back by doing wacky news. In one interaction with God he finds out that that is how God made him. God loved Bruce’s sense of humour and said he brings joy to people. Bruce needed to recognise his calling and work within that area. A lesson for us.

2. Bruce wasn’t content with his life
We see that Bruce was so desperate to be a news anchor that he didn’t realise what he had. A great job, a lovely partner, a nice home. His ambition for bigger things blinded him from being content with his life and seeing what he already had. The Apostle Paul tells us he learned to be content in all situations (Philippians 4:11).

3. Bruce thought God hated him
A number of times during the movie we see Bruce shake his fist at God and yell at the sky. He thought God hated him and likened God to a bully with magnifying glass on an ant hill. Bruce didn’t understand his wrong ambition was the source of his frustration, not God hating him. We see that God cared enough to intervene in his life. Just like He intervenes in ours.

4. Bruce realised being God is hard
In the movie Bruce is given God’s powers for a time. He even has to answer prayers to which he finds very hard and time consuming. In the end he says yes to everyone’s prayers and it causes chaos in the world. Being God and getting the balance right is not easy. There is a lot more going on that Bruce realised. I am glad God did not answer all of my prayers with yes over the years!

5. Bruce found that surrender was the key
In one scene we see Bruce realise the error of his thinking and he surrenders his will fully to God. God then turns things around. I won’t say too much but this is a key for all of us. We might think we know what is best, but there is always more going on behind the scenes that we know. The key for Bruce and us is to surrender to a loving God who knows all and has a plan for our lives.

So there you have it. Five lessons from the movie Bruce Almighty. As I said it is one of my favourite movies. I think I have watched it about 10 times at least over the years!