New Study Finds that a Majority of People Believe in Sofia the First’s Magical Amulet

Now bear with me with that title. I know that there’s lots going on these days with ‘fake news’ and whether its a threat to the public or just good satire, but I promise not to engage in either.

Instead, I really do believe that the majority of the human race believes in Sofia’s magical amulet…sort of.

Now for you poor folks that don’t get to watch Disney’s Sofia the First regularly with your toddlers, let me catch you up. Sofia the First is a cartoon about just a girl in the village who was doing alright but then became a princess overnight and now she is trying to do it right with so much to learn and see. Her new step-father, King Roland, gives her this precious amulet which, unbeknownst to everyone, grants Sofia magical powers such a talking with animals or becoming big or small.

There’s a catch though: when Sofia does something good or kind, she is rewarded with a new power. When she does something bad she is cursed. Now fortunately Sofia’s a pretty good kid so she mostly does just good stuff, but it got me thinking the other day. This poor little girl in essence has to go through life constantly seeking to do good or else she will be cursed. The only way to keep getting rewarded is by doing good deeds. That’s quite a burden to place on a little pre-teen girl.

And yet isn’t that how most people live their lives?

They may not think in terms of magical amulets, but they are convinced that the only way they’ll get “blessed” is by doing good works and that if they don’t they’ll get cursed. I had a woman in my office last week asking me why everyone around her was getting “blessed” but not her, especially in light of the fact that the people around her may appear to be good people but in reality they’re pretty wicked of heart. This poor woman was living under this old fundamentalist burden that she better “do good” in life or else God was going to curse her. Tragically, though she knew Jesus Christ she wasn’t enjoying the hope and freedom of the Gospel because she was being tempted to return back to enslavement under the law.

The apostle Paul addressed such a temptation and circumstance in his letter to the Galatians, writing:

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? (Galatians 3:1–6)

Friends, we need to first redefine ‘blessing’ and ‘curse.’ Have you ever thought the financial prosperity might not be a blessing? Think about the rich young ruler who went away from Jesus sad when told to sell all that he had. This young man’s financial prosperity ended up being a barrier between him and Jesus. How about Jesus saying it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God? Realize that money and possessions are not proof of God’s favor. In fact such things are sometimes His judgment. Sometimes He says, “If what you want most in life is money then that’s what you’ll get, and by the time you realize that money is not really what you need or want it’ll be too late.”

The blessing of God is He Himself! The curse of God is His wrath toward our sin. The good news of Jesus Christ (i.e. the Gospel, the euangelion) is that Jesus has suffered our curse on our behalf and granted us reconciliation with God and we don’t receive this work of Jesus because we have done good deeds or avoided bad ones. We receive this work as a free gift by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus. Stop living your lives with a magical amulet around your neck that is waiting to either reward or curse you. Clothe yourself in Jesus and live in the freedom He brings!