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Minions: a movie review

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.

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Minions - Official Trailer 3 (HD) (Credit: Illumination Entertainment)

{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #c0c0c0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/Wfql_DoHRKc?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}Minions is the prequel to the Despicable Me movies and relates the story of how the little yellow creatures that served Gru throughout those films began their careers as criminals. The movie opens with a narrator describing how from the dawn of creation, the minions have sought only to serve the greatest villains of their time. While they are quite devoted to that cause, sadly they are also quite inept at it and, more often than not, they are responsible for the downfall of the one they aim to serve.

After once such blunder, in which they inadvertently sent Napoleon flying across the battlefield, they were forced to seek shelter in an abandoned cave. They took advantage of the opportunity to begin serving themselves rather than another. However, after a while, the lack of purpose inherent to being created to serve yet having no one to follow leads Kevin, Bob, and Stuart to go in search of a new villain for whom they might work.

Eventually, they find their way into the service of Scarlet Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock, whose life ambition has been to steal the Queen of England’s crown. In a series of events, the minions are successful in taking the crown but Bob, the smallest of the minions, ends up king in the process. Scarlet is understandably perturbed by this outcome and the rest of the movie is largely organized around the minions simultaneously trying to get back in her good graces while also saving England from her wrath.

Overall, Minions is an entertaining movie that has some very funny moments but probably isn’t quite as good as the first or second Despicable Me movies (though that is not much of a slight as those movies were highly enjoyable). It’s a great family film that has something for both kids and adults. And while moral lessons were not the primary aim of the movie, it also reinforces the necessity of understanding your purpose in life and actively seeking to fulfill it.

For the Christian, that purpose is to honor God by loving him and obeying him. While the expression of that purpose will vary from person to person as we seek to live out the unique calling God has placed on each of our lives, the core of the matter is really that simple.

Solomon demonstrates an understanding of that principle when he summed up his lessons in Ecclesiastes by saying “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). Jesus expounded upon that truth when, in response to the Pharisees’ question, he said that the greatest commandment was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).

Essentially, our purpose in life is quite simply to honor God through our obedience and our love. Moreover, the two are inseparably connected as we can’t truly obey God’s commands without loving him and our love towards him will necessarily be expressed through obedience to his word.

So how does your life match up with those principles? Augustine wrote in his Confessions that “You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.” We cannot know God’s rest unless we are actively living out his purpose for our lives and that purpose necessitates love and obedience towards our heavenly Father. It is a decision we have to make each day and remain committed to over the course of our lives. However, his promise is that, when we do, we will experience the kind of fulfillment and peace that God longs to give.

Like the minions, we were created to serve. However, what scripture and the human experience demonstrate is that when we serve ourselves, life seems empty, but when we serve God, we are blessed. So live your life today in service to the one who “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). That is why you were created and the purpose that will yield the greatest joy. So how will you live like that today?