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The marvelous movie THE CINDERELLA MAN is grounded on the life of a very fine man, James Braddock. Braddock was a professional boxer and became heavyweight champion and was given the name of “Cinderella Man” by the famous short-story writer, Damon Runyan.
Another character in the movie is based on an actual person too; Max Baer, the world heavyweight-boxing champion. As the movie presents him Baer is an arrogant, booze-swilling womanizer with a ruthless and callous streak in him. He was one of the kind people love to hate.
First, he was arrogant! Now let me give you some scriptures on the evil of arrogance and why we should avoid it. [You’ll need those because we can’t be sure that all Christians aren’t aware of the sinfulness of arrogance.] Then I’ll give you some advice on how to avoid being arrogant. This advice might work for you even though I can offer no wisdom on how you might apply it to your unique life and setting.
Second, he was a boozer and a serious partying fellow. Let me give you some Bible verses against booze and partying that show we should avoid these evils. Then I’ll give you some advice on how to avoid booze and partying in your life or how to get over them if you are already involved in them. This advice might do you good though I know nothing about your life or its peculiar situation such as your family relations, your long established friendships or the misery you might experience in your job every day. Of course, what difference does any of that make—the Bible says we shouldn’t do it and that should be enough.
Third, he was a committed womanizer. Let me cite some Bible passages on the ugliness of cheap sex, fornication and adultery and why we should avoid them. Then I’ll give you some advice on how to win over these. These pieces of advice might help you even if I haven’t the foggiest how to go about applying them to your life, which I know nothing about.
Of course the bulk of you readers, being Christians, try strenuously to avoid these things and the advice I offer is so obvious to everyone that everybody knows it as well as I do and a host of you know more about it than I do. Still I need to be faithful in preaching the gospel.
So, there you have it. It was a great movie!
What? I didn’t tell you what the movie was about? How can you say that? Didn’t I mention James J Braddock? Didn’t I tell you how he got his name? Did I give you good material on Max Baer and how to avoid being like him?
I don’t think you understand. I will develop the truth about boozing and carousing and arrogance and self-centered living! I will quote reams of scriptures against these things. Yes, I know you’ve known from childhood all that I’ll say about these things. Still, it can’t hurt us to go over and over and over and over them.
You still don’t know how the movie presents James J Braddock? But I’m planning a series of sermons on his manager and I’ll list the managers virtues and give verses as to why we should follow his good example of loyalty and gallantry in hard times. I’ll offer general words of advice that might help you be virtuous.
If I kept doing what I did above that still wouldn’t help you to know how the movie moves, holds together and presents the hero of the movie—James J Braddock?
What’s wrong with you? These people are bags of virtues and vices and I’m going to promote the virtues and speak against the vices! That’s what the characters in the movie [and in the Bible] are there for, don’t you know!
You don’t think that’s Bible preaching?
Aw! What would you know anyway?
I’m an experienced preacher.