Can anything good come out of Hollywood? We may often wonder. The film industry does a wonderful job telling in stories that inspire, touch hearts and lift the human spirit. It also produces films that are overly violent, sexually charged and morally bankrupt. And then there are lots of films that fall in between those two extremes. While it may not be fair to generalize about an entire industry, there are enough bad examples to make you shake your head in discouragement.
So it was quite unusual, and refreshing, to see one of Hollywood’s top box office draws, Christ Pratt of Jurassic World fame, talk about God after he won the MTV Next Generation Award. In his acceptance speech, Pratt took about four minutes to share his “Nine Rules” for living. Some were humorous, like “No. 4, when giving a dog medicine, put the medicine in a little piece of hamburger. They won’t even know they’re eating the medicine.” But most were inspiring and several spoke of his faith in God.
His advice was so good it’s worth repeating. So here are the best of
Chris Pratt’s Nine Rules:
“No. 2: You have a soul, be careful with it.”
“No. 5,…reach out to someone in pain [and] be of service. It feels good and it’s good for your soul.”
“No. 6: God is real, God loves you, God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do.”
“No. 8: Learn to pray. It’s easy and it’s so good for your soul. You just close your eyes, you list off people for which you are grateful, ask for protection for the people you love. Don’t be embarrassed by it, you let people see you do it, it’s good for their soul, too.”
“No. 9: Nobody is perfect. Nobody. None of us, not you. People are gonna tell you you’re perfect just the way you are. You’re not! You are imperfect, you always will be, but there is a powerful force that designed you that way. And it loves you, accepts you for exactly who you are. It forgives you for your flaws, no matter what they are, and if you’re willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. And like the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood. Do not forget it. Don’t take it for granted. It’s a gift for which none of us are worthy. So do your best to earn it. Just be kind, don’t be a bully, be of service…God bless you.”
Some Christians have criticized Pratt for what he said, or rather, for what he failed to say about God and Jesus Christ. Why, they wonder, did he not give a fuller witness about salvation in Jesus? But as one commentator noted, Chris is a relatively new Christian and doesn’t have the biblical and theological depth of someone who’s been a Christian for many years. More importantly, consider his audience. The MTV-sponsored award program is a secular event for a predominantly secular audience, one that doesn’t hear much about God to begin with. His combination of humor and talk about God spoke well to that generation.
I think Chris’ speech spoke to his audience in such a way that they heard basic gospel truths in a language they could understand coming from a person they admired. His words made me think of something the Apostle Paul wrote about doing whatever it takes to share the Gospel: “I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
So thank God for Chris Pratt. I hope he finds more ways to share his growing faith in Christ for this generation, and the next.