HOPE AT THE MOVIES // “Top Gun: Maverick”

Proverbs 23:7 (GNT) | What he thinks is what he really is.

Can We Change the Way We Think? (Neural Plasticity)

  • You can modify the neural pathways in your brain to literally transform the way you think
  • It used to be that scientists believed your thought patterns were fixed in late adolescence
  • Modern science is finally catching up to ancient wisdom!
  • Romans 12:2 (ESV) | “…be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
  • We need to change the way we think in order to become more like Jesus.

Philippians 2:5-11 (MSG) | Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

Think Like Jesus:

  • Paul wanted his readers to seek the same mindset as Jesus.
  • For starters, it was about status.
  • Jesus’ status as God led Him to think of how to help us.

Serve Like Jesus:

  • Jesus’ role as a servant sought to put obedience first.
  • Reference to slave is different than how we know it in USA history. There were three basic kinds of slaves in the Bible: prisoners of war, concubines, and bond-servants, or those working to pay off debts.
  • Jesus came as the bond-servant to pay off our sin debt.
  • Obedience even included His willingness to sacrifice His life.
  • Maverick wasn’t as concerned about status or rank as he was his service in the Navy
  • Maverick was willing to sacrifice his life for Rooster, the son of his late best friend, Goose.
  • Maverick’s example inspired Rooster to do the same.
  • Recurring theme throughout the movie of “don’t think, act” comes into play here…Maverick taught his students to prepare themselves in such a way their actions were instinctual.

Act Like Jesus:

  • God wants our natural instinct to be about service and sacrifice, not status.
  • This requires constant attention and commitment
  • If our focus in on Jesus, though, it becomes easier for us to fight our fleshly tendencies and follow Jesus’ lead.

Steps to Help Improve Your Neural Plasticity

  1. Check your habits
  2. Identify your path of least resistance
  3. Focus on your beliefs
  4. Commit to repetition and practice

Reflection Questions:

  1. What tends to dominate your thoughts?
  2. How will you order your thoughts this week?
  3. What do you need to do to make Jesus’ instincts your own?
  4. Will you commit to serving God by serving others?
  5. Why do you need to repeat and practice?