Last weekend, I went to see Dark Knight with my son, Jeremy, and some friends. (There are no spoilers in this blog post.) I enjoyed the movie. Believe it or not, I enjoyed the character of the Joker most of all.
I realize that this has been said before, but I believe the Joker in Dark Knight is one of the best representations of a “satanic” character ever portrayed in the movies. First, the Joker enjoys evil for the sake of evil. Death, violence, and chaos are his reward – he does not desire anything more. However, beyond this, the Joker lives to corrupt others. He desires to do evil and to entice others to do evil. He lives to corrupt.
And… I learned from watching the Joker in Dark Knight. What’s even more interesting is that I did not primary learn about Satan or evil from watching the Joker. Instead, I saw the exact opposite of how followers of Jesus Christ are supposed to live.
Those of us who follow Jesus Christ should love and desire good – not just anything called “good”, but the good that only comes from God. We desire to see life and healing and reconciliation and hope and promise.
Beyond seeing God’s good in our own lives, we also desire to see others impacted by God. We desire to see the un-corruption of people and society. We love to see people reconciled to God, relationships mended, and families strengthened. In fact, the more our hearts are turned toward God, the more our actions and motives are turned away from ourselves and toward the benefit of other people.
Unfortunately, this is not the way we always live. You see, watching the Joker also taught me something about the corruption in my own heart. There are times when I turn my heart away from God and others and toward myself. During those times, I can demonstrate as much evil and animosity towards people as I saw in the Joker. I thank God that someone greater than Batman exists to cleanse my wayward heart and point me back to God and others.
When you look at your life, and your influence on the lives of other people, what do you see? Are you impacting people for your own gains and for evil? Or are you impacting people for God and for their own benefit?