Summary: When you think you could do a better job than God, You need to remember: 1. There is one God, and you are not him. 2. God’s job is harder than you think. 3. Our goal should be to be like God, not to be God.
On our plane trip out to San Diego this summer they showed the film Bruce Almighty with Jim Carey. Besides being hilarious, it had a real message behind it. Carey plays Bruce Nolan, a local Eyewitness News TV reporter in Buffalo, New York. He is discontented with almost everything in his life, even though he has a decent job and a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend named Grace, played by Jennifer Aniston. Bruce is trying to get the job of the soon-to-retire news anchor, but everything seems to be going against him. He finds himself complaining about everything in his life, even though most of it is very good. He then begins complaining to God about how he is running the world. The slightest inconvenience leads to a tirade against the Almighty. He says out loud that he thinks he could do a better job of running the universe than God does.
This leads to a confrontation with God, played by Morgan Freeman. He explains that he is The One, the Alpha & Omega, but Bruce is unconvinced. Let’s look at what happens next. (Insert Clip 31:113 - 32:23)
At first, Bruce doubts that any of what he has experienced is real. Then, as every word he says, and every thing he thinks, miraculously happens, he is intrigued by his new powers. Instead of stepping into a mud puddle, he walks on the water. Stopping in a diner, he orders a bowl of tomato soup and then parts it like Moses did the Red Sea. But he soon has second thoughts about what it is like to be God. He starts hearing voices in his head which turn out to be prayers — millions of prayers. He decides to answer “Yes” to all the prayers, which creates chaos all around him. He pulls the moon closer to earth as a romantic gesture to impress his girlfriend, but creates tidal waves in various parts of the world. The interesting part of the film for me was that everything Bruce did with his almighty power was use it for selfish purposes. In the end, Bruce is glad to hand God’s power back to him. He decides to be just a normal guy and let God be God. He needed to understand that there were things he did not and could not understand. There were reasons why God sometimes said “No.”
What would you do if you could be God for one week, or even a day? Which power would you choose if you could have only one? Omnipotence — being all powerful? Omniscience — being all wise? Would you choose to be invisible or have the ability to travel anywhere instantly? Would you choose to have x-ray vision, or the ability to leap tall buildings with a single bound? Would you like to be invincible so that nothing could hurt you. Bullets would bounce off you — if you decided not to catch them in your teeth? It would be interesting to see what you would do with your extraordinary powers.
The are a few things that you need to remember when you think that you could do God’s job better than he does. The first one is: There is one God, and you are not him. The Bible says, “Oh, what a wonderful God we have How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods ” (Romans 11:33 -NLT). You cannot be Me Almighty The Bible says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). We might add to that: “The fool says in his heart, ‘I am God,’ or ‘I think I could do a better job than God.’” It is tempting to think that if we were God we would do things differently. We would do it right and administer justice the way it should be done. We would use our power for good and make the world a better place than it presently is under God’s control. There would be no cancer. There would be no earthquakes. There would be no war.
John Hodgman, on NPR’s program The American Life, took an informal survey which proved to be telling. He asked people what they would do if they were suddenly endowed with a superpower. What Hodgman discovered was that all the people he interviewed talked about using their superpower in self-serving ways. None of them planned on using them for heroic purposes or even particularly kind ends. No one talked about fighting crime. No one talked about correcting injustice. No one said anything about working for peace — personally, locally or globally. No one mentioned acts of mercy or just being helpful. As one man pondered having super powers, he said: “I’d go to Paris, I suppose. I could be ‘Going to Paris Man.’” The people who chose the power to be invisible stated that they would use their power to steal from expensive stores, spy on their coworkers, stalk someone, hang around showers, get on airplanes free, etc., etc. Like Bruce Nolan, they all thought about using their power for themselves instead of good.