Bruce Almighty

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Have you ever felt that all was stacked against you; that somehow you were born on Godís wrong side and there was nothing you could do about it; that your competition was favored, and despite your best efforts, the prize would always be handed to the one who did nothing more than show-up; the one who was so sure that he was favored that he took it for granted that despite his lack of effort the next promotion was his?  Well that is how we find Bruce Nolan in Bruce Almighty.

Bruce Nolan, played by Jim Carrey, is a television news reporter in Buffalo, and no matter how great his notions for the daily news casts his ideas are laughed-down at the production meetings only to be stolen and used by his competition, Evan Baxter, played by Steven Carell.

Rather than real news, Bruce is sent out to do public interest stories, and referred to disparagingly as "that wacky Bruce."  The final straw comes when he is overlooked for the coveted anchor job.

It is at this point that Bruce challenges God, played by Morgan Freeman, and God offers Bruce a chance to see what being God is all about. Bruce is given the opportunity to take over for God for a few days with the only restrictions being he cannot override free will and he can do nothing that people could do for themselves.

Testing his wings as God, Bruce establishes himself to the Buffalo viewing audience as the on-the-spot reporter, when and wherever breaking news occurs. He even lands the coveted news anchor job when the conniving Evan, blathers uncontrollably in one of the funniest scenes ever filmed.  But before he can do his first broadcast as anchorman, he is challenged by God concerning who and how many he has helped during his time on the job. The challenge comes just as Buffalo experiences an earth quake and Bruce realizes he has done nothing with his "Godly" talents, and there is no better time to start than now. He literally leaves the broadcast as it starts and begins helping those in need.

It all works out well, even to the point of being reunited with Grace, played by Jennifer Anniston, who has stood by him through all his hardship, only to leave when Bruce becomes too full of himself.  

Three key teaching scenes:

  • Early in the movie as Bruce attempts to prove that God is not, he asks God how many fingers heís holding-out behind his back. When God responds, "Seven" and Bruce brings his hand around to prove Him wrong only to find that he is now holding-out seven fingers on his right hand, we are reminded that Godís word is absolute. 
  • Near the end of the movie, in response to Godís asking him what he wants, Bruce gives a litany of desires for the good of the world and God tells him "Thatís great if youíre running for Miss America.  What do you really want?" In this we learn that God desires that we bring Him our heartfelt pleas with expectations. 
  • And the third teaching point is found in the sound track played when Bruce realizes God has really given him the power to be God:  as Bruce boldly experiments with his new God power, the sound track blares to a hip hop beat, "you got the power!"  And we do as God has given us access to His throne and desires to meet our every need.  We have only to seek Him. 
Overall, what we learn from Bruce Almighty is that we must use the talents we are given regardless of the obstacles we face and that God never gives us talents to be used exclusively on ourselves. Bruce learns this the hard way, we donít have to. 

Matthew 25:26-28 (KJV)  {26} His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strowed: {27} Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. {28} Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

Philippians 4:19 (KJV) But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

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