Karate Kid, the original movie, was a favorite movie of many. It is not so much a movie about karate. It is more about relationships. The young teenage boy in the movie was being picked on, bullied and beaten. This teenager was befriended by an older Japanese man, the hero in the story. He promises to teach the teen karate to defend himself. This hero is broken by the events of his life and lives alone. But he feels compelled to help the teenager and they begin their unseemly relationship.
The teen’s first assignments were to; paint a fence with very particular brush strokes, wash cars with specific movement and sand a deck with attention to just the right motion. After completing the tasks the teen got mad that he was not being taught karate. It was then the mentor revealed that by doing these chores this specific way he developed muscle memory which would allow him to respond to attacks. This was proved when the mentor went to strike the teen and that muscle memory kicked in and blocked the strike.
The teen did not see the point of all his hard work until he was able to put those new skills into action. After all, what is the point of practicing or studying anything especially if you never plan on using it? When you study or practice karate you prepare yourself for the coming confrontation. It is common for warriors to prepare for confrontation also. You want the muscle memory to be honed so that when needed you can respond quickly and effectively in the heat of the battle.
Paul wrote the famous section about putting on the armor of God while in prison. One can imagine him looking out the window of his cell and watch the Roman soldiers suit up daily. Go through the routines to keep in fighting shape. Strengthen, train, and practice hand to hand combat routines and more. They would practice as if their lives depended on it. Well, because they did.
As Christians, we study the Bible and look to understand God’s Word. We are called to defend, We are called to put on the armor of God. There are countless books written. Videos recorded, study plans, commentaries and much more. One could literally spend every waking hour reading or listen to something related to scriptures.
Are we willing to head into battle and defend our Christian worldview? While I commend those that do study. What is the point of all the study if one never intends to go to battle? While it is understood not everyone is gifted for battle. We must still be ready as sometimes the battle comes to us. we must be willing to take a stand.
This does not mean that we literally have a battle or go looking for a fight. But like karate, we prepare ourselves for a strong defense. We should be able to make a very persuasive case without a fight. It is more of a battle for mind and spirit in our approach is important. This should be done with gentleness and respect for the individual. As scriptures tell us “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, ….. 1 Peter 3:15-16
Much like the Japanese hero of this movie we are deeply flawed and have made our fair share of mistakes. We are called to be mild-mannered but strong. We are called to study and practice but also defend.
At the end of the movie, the teenager wins his social battle, not by bullying and beating up on people. But by standing his ground, using his personality traits as well as his skill in karate. It was all those put together that made the story relatable and worth telling. We must do the same. Build ourselves up in God’s word and be prepared. Defend what is right and do it in a way that gets our point across without attacking. We develop muscle memory so that when our worldview is challenged we can meet that challenge and defend ourselves and the Triune God of the Bible. What good is putting on the armor of God if we just stand there?
Author - Guy Yasika
Looking to profess my faith to anyone that will listen.