Jesus and Jerry Maguire

In 1996 Tom Cruise (Jerry Maguire), Renee Zellweger (Dorothy Boyd), and Cuba Gooding Jr. (Rod Tidwell) starred in “Jerry Maguire,” a movie about a sports agent desperate, after being fired, to stay in the game by taking his best client with him. Zellweger’s character is a single mother who falls in love with Maguire after leaving the same company to work with him. After 23 years some of the movie’s quotes still resonate, and I found myself seeing parallels to the Christian life in a few of them.

“Show me the money!”
Gooding Jr., who won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Rod Tidwell, Maguire’s sole client, reminds his agent to keep his eye on the ball by getting the best deal possible. “Show me the money, Jerry!” Christians need to remember that money isn’t the root of all evil, but the love of money is.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
1st Timothy 6:10 ESV

“Did you know dogs and bees can smell fear?”
“Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?”
Jonathan Lipnicki, (Ray Boyd) who played Zellweger’s young, trivia-master son, probably had more memorable quotes than any cast member. Christians can get bogged down in theological debates over trivial issues that may not mean all that much. But, because we’re human, we’ll find ways to fight over almost anything. Case in point, something like 200 protestant denominations. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,…
2 Timothy 2:23-24 ESV

“You make me want to be a better man.”
“You Complete me.”

Maguire’s expressions of love say his life is missing something critical if he’s only about his business. A Christian’s love for God is greater, and more “complete,” than romantic love. Our desire to get closer to God and see others as He sees them becomes the theme for our lives as we become more mature sons and daughters of God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 ESV

“You had me at hello.”
As Maguire winds up his speech, explaining how any success he achieves is incomplete without Boyd in his life, Boyd cuts him off, saying, “You had me at hello.” God understands what we want to say to Him, even before we say it. Do not be like them, for your father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8 ESV

Father, let me live in the assurance of the love and devotion you displayed, when the world was forever changed by the sacrifice you made.

© Joel Tipple 8/17/2019

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