Countdown to Fireproof: Two Days

Have you ever been cheated? I have! I feel that living abroad, it happens to me more often than normal. I have to remind myself that it’s not mainly because people in the culture where I live are lying cheats, it’s because foreigners are easy targets.

This week, I’ve lived through the experience of being cheated and lied to by proxy. I’ve had three good friends who worked at the same language school go through the 3-month-long experience of being deceived, lied to, and finally having to quit their jobs because they’ve realized they’ll never be paid in full for the work they’ve done.

In this whole experience, it’s been natural to be focused on justice and fact that my friends have been wronged. It’s right for them to want to collect the money they’ve earned and to be angry after being lied to and used for so long. It’s been easy to talk about their former employers as though they’re unredeemable scum of the earth. It’s also been easy to elevate ourselves as morally superior to them.

As we prayed about our friends’ situation tonight in our home group, the Lord spoke to some of our hearts that we were not seeing these employers as people who need the Lord. We were only seeing them as men who’d cheated our friends and who owed them money. We were even seeing ourselves as better than them. I think the Lord prepared my heart for this revelation last night as I watched Flywheel.

In Flywheel, Jay Austin is a car dealer with very little conviction to stop him from cheating anyone who walks on the lot. He takes advantage of uninformed customers, and trains his workers to do the same. Circumstances however lead him to a crisis of faith where he has to choose between continuing to do what is profitable in the short run and turning to God. His turning to God leads to a chain of events that brings his life to rock bottom in every area except his relationship with God, but as God is busy changing the man, he’s also doing a work in reordering his circumstances.

Watching Flywheel must have hit me on a heart level, because as we prayed tonight, God reminded me that he not only loves these guys, but he also has the power to change them!

As I think this week about these men who’ve cheated some of my closest friends, I want to remember the story of Jay Austin. I want to remember that God has a plan for these guys that involves good things and not evil. I want to remember that if not for His grace, I’d be just like those guys. I want to remember my desire to treat people in a way that’s right doesn’t come from my goodness but from the Spirit’s work in my heart.

In a world where it’s easy to see certain people as beyond repair, Flywheel is a good reminder that anyone can change if God gives them a new heart.