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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Spiritual Lessons From “The Walking Dead” Season 5 - Part 2

  • I originally detested the thought of watching a show full of gore and dead people.
  • I’ve only watched one full season of TWD: Season 5.
  • This post will not cover any theories of eschatology (the study of the end times).
  • The show in no way connects specifically to any religious belief, and this post does not intend to suggest the show is about any particular religion.
As the season six premier of AMC’s The Walking Dead gets closer, here is the second iteration of spiritual lessons I gathered from watching season five. (View Part 1 here).

6. Everyone Has Purpose in the Kingdom
“…who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began…” 2 Timothy 1:9 (NKJV)

Daryl loses his girlfriend, Beth, and becomes very distant within the group. Upon arriving to Alexandria, he struggles to adapt and is the only member of the group to not receive a job from Deanna, the town’s leader. Set on feeling useless, Daryl does what he wants and avoids interacting with the residents of Alexandria. Aaron later reveals to Daryl that he has the perfect job for him, and that he is gifted specifically to accomplish the job. Aaron makes a recommendation to Deanna that Daryl help him recruit high-quality people to become part of Alexandria. He justifies this by stating that, “he (Daryl) knows the difference between good and bad people.” Many people desire to know their life’s purpose, and many of those same people go through moments of doubt regarding whether they were born to actually accomplish anything. 2 Timothy 1:9 reassures those in Christ that we were saved for a purpose a long time ago, and that we must remain patient until He aligns our gifts with our situations.
Figure 6: Aaron identifies Daryl’s gift and tells him he officially has purpose in Alexandria.
Source: S05 – Episode 13

7. Satan Is a Liar
“…When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44b (NKJV)

Sasha cannot rest. She is in a constant state of anger and paranoia. Because Sasha is always on edge, she tells Deanna that Alexandria is just not real. There is no peace for her, therefore she refuses to let her guard down and accept Alexandria as a peaceful safe haven for her. Satan is a liar, and is very capable of convincing people that good things are bad and vice versa. When we have these moments of extreme doubt and paranoia, it is important to have someone to turn to that you can trust as a personal barometer.

Figure 7: Sasha explaining to Deanna that the peace in Alexandria is not real.
Source: S05 - Episode 13

8. Your Gift Will Make Room for You
“A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16 (NKJV)

Seemingly everyday, someone in Rick’s group is promoted to a leadership position within Alexandria. None of the group members assert their expertise over the people of Alexandria, but they simply help out and step up as needed. In doing so, it becomes very evident that each member has a specific skill set and compassion toward other people. In this scene (See Fig. 8), after Tobin witnesses Abraham save a member of the crew, Tobin requests Deanna make Abraham the construction team leader. Upon watching this, Proverbs 18:16 came to mind. God gives each of the members of the body of Christ a specific gift for a particular purpose. There is no need to compete or connive one’s way up the ladder of success. True heart and skill will always make room for themselves.
Figure 8: Tobin insists Deanna make Abraham the new construction team leader. 
Source: S05 – Episode 14
9. Do Not Succumb to Evil
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

As Morgan sits calmly near his campfire, a Wolf, or hostile survivor catches him off guard. The Wolf informs Morgan of his impending death, to which Morgan politely responds, “I will not allow you to take me away” (See Fig. 9). This scene exemplifies the critical need to speak positivity in the midst of a dead-end situation. The Wolf has Morgan at gunpoint. There seems to be no way out of this situation, but Morgan decides to execute a great deal of faith. He ends up speaking his truth and fighting his way out. The Wolf could represent any obstacle one faces in life. Despite the apparent outcome, one should choose to speak life first before assuming the worst.

Figure 9: Morgan speaking to a Wolf who told him he was going to be taken away and killed.
Source: S05 -Episode 15

10. Redemption: There’s More Beyond Guilt and Shame
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Sasha, Gabe, and Maggie each have different issues that presumably could end with their demise. Sasha is struggling with anger and wants to die. Gabe is struggling with guilt and wants to die. Both have attempted to place themselves in dangerous situations hoping to find death as a result (See Fig. 10). Maggie, on the other hand, is struggling with faith as a whole and is starting to question how much longer until she dies. Despite each of their fights with death, the three are shown praying at the end of the season. This scene, demonstrates, even in the midst of chaos and grief, that one can find peace and receive redemption from anger, guilt, and confusion (1 John 1:9).

Figure 10: Sasha wants to die from her unrelenting anger (Upper Left), Gabriel wants to die from his guilt (Upper Right), and Maggie has lost all sense of faith in this new world (Bottom Left). After a long season, they all find redemption and peace (Bottom Right).
Source: S05 - Episodes 10 and 16

MercyMe – The Hurt & The Healer

Sometimes I feel it's all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through

So here I am
What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

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