The Fate Of Our Family
The movie Encanto tells the story of the family Madrigal. 1 There’s a grandmother, her three children, their spouses, and six grandchildren. A miracle created a magical house where they all live, and this same miracle has given each child and grandchild a magical gift…except Mirabel.
All seems perfect. Then one day the house begins to crumble and the gifts begin to fade. The magic is broken and the miracle is dying. But Mirabel decides to save the miracle, and her Uncle Bruno shows her a vision of what it will take…Mirabel hugging her sister Isabella.
Indignant, Mirabel cries out that Isabella is self-centered, a prima donna, the darling of the family who can do no wrong. “She hates me!” Bruno interrupts, “You see, you’re missing the point. The fate of the family, it’s not up to her. It’s up to you. You’re exactly what this family needs. You just have to see it.”
We all have flaws that need our attention.
How often we see what others do and criticize them…or hear what they say and condemn them. How often we take rumors and assumptions as though they were truth. How often we lose ourselves in the lives of others and focus on the wrong person.
Our arrogant human nature deeply bothered Jesus. He warned us not to judge others. 2 You see, it doesn’t stop there. Our judgement becomes a weapon we use to attack their character, destroy their integrity, and deem them worthless.
Jesus also said, Why worry about a speck in your brother or sister’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you even think of saying, “I will get rid of that speck in your eye”, when you can’t see past the log in your own? 3
You are what the Family of God needs.
Judging others, pointing out what’s wrong with them, telling them how to fix it, what they should do, how they should live…and it all comes so naturally. Yet even with good intentions, that does not lead to a strong family, but a broken one.
So Jesus whispers, You’re missing the point. You want them to be stronger? Then you be stronger. You want them to be compassionate, gentle and kind? Then you be compassionate, gentle and kind. You want them to love and encourage others? Then you love and encourage others.
The fate of our Family, it’s not up to him or her or them. You’re focusing on the wrong person. It’s up to you!” Follow me in everything you say and do, and give the world something worth seeing. You’re exactly what this Family needs. You just have to see it. 4
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Encanto, 2021, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. (2) Read Matthew 7:1-2. (3) Read Matthew 7:3-5. (4) I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15.
Pictures: Banner: Together, The Well Sheffield, wellsheffield.com. (1) Isabella and Mirabel, from the 2021 movie Encanto, Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature Film, by Walt Disney Animation Studios. (2) Arrogance, Depositphotos. (3) Praying Alone, photo by Nicholas Kamm, AFP via Getty Images.