Confession: I love a good soap opera.
I remember watching soap operas as a teenager when I’d spend a week at my Grandma’s house during the summer. Every woman on those shows were the epitome of glamour. Their hair was perfectly coiffed, their clothes were always fancy, and the jewelry – well, I was nearly blinded if I sat too close to the television.
Not gonna lie – I still watch those soap operas. I sometimes find myself curled up on my couch at night catching up on the Newmans and the Abbotts.
Ahhh…the soap opera. Filled with predictable storylines, confusing relationships, risqué scenes and over the top acting.
And yet, they’ve taught me so much!
1. You can’t hide.
The two soap operas I watch consistently have been on for the entirety of my life. Characters come and go, they disappear, they run away, they even die and come back. Somehow they’re always found! It seems to be a consistent pattern for the creators of the show. It’s been years of playing hide and seek with their characters. Hide! Found! Hide again! Oops, caught ya!
Does this sound familiar to you? I repeatedly try to hide from God. Often times I want to hide my thoughts, my temper tantrums, and my bad choices.
But like my favorite soap opera characters, I can’t hide from my Creator.
“No one can hide from God. His eyes see everything we do. We must give an answer to God for what we have done.” – Hebrews 4:13
No matter how hard we try, it is impossible hide from God. Occasionally we’ll even try to hide behind a well constructed, righteous-appearing life, but even then, God can see directly into the truths we try to hide.
2. Gossip is a killer.
Soap Operas are filled with an endless dialogue of he said/she said. Words gets twisted, assumptions are made and before you know it, someone’s ex-husband’s cousin’s neighbor’s manicurist is determined to get revenge.
“Troublemakers start fights; gossips break up friendships.” – Proverbs 16:28
I’ve been both the gossiper and the “gossipee” (is that a real word?), which means I’ve hurt friendships and I’ve been hurt by others. Neither of which feels good.
Do you remember playing the telephone game when you were a kid? No, it wasn’t an app on a phone…it was a game in which everyone lines up and one person at the end of the line whispers a phrase to the person next to them. That person would then repeat the phrase to the person beside them and this pattern would repeat itself until it reached the last person in line. It never failed: the person at the end of the line heard something totally different that what the person at the front of the line originally said.
That happens every time we “share” a story that’s not ours to tell. By the time it gets to the next person, the story has changed – and by the time it gets back to the “gossipee,” the story is completely wrong.
There’s a reason God tells us not to gossip: it damages relationships, it kills friendships, and everyone involved ends up getting hurt.
3. Just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean it’s good.
Soap operas are filled with some of the most beautiful villains. They remind of the Sirens of Greek mythology whose beautiful singing and sweet songs lured sailors into destruction.
Let’s take a look at one of my favorite soap opera villains, ‘Quinn Fuller-Forrester.’
Isn’t she beautiful? She sure is pretty…but she’s definitely not good.
“And now I’m afraid that exactly as the snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 11:13
Ok, we all know the story about the serpent and Eve. The serpent deceived Eve with his smooth talking and he used the beauty of the forbidden fruit to add emphasis to his words. She fell for it. She fell for the Quinn Fuller-Forrester of her time and bit into destruction.
Paul warns us about being lured away by things that look, and sound, beautiful. Sometimes that sultry Siren shows herself in our lives as fancy cars, big houses, better jobs, designer clothes – anything that causes us to stop listening to God first and start focusing primarily on our worldly desires.
Just like the Sirens of Greek mythology and the villains of daytime television, beautiful things can lure us away from what is good if we aren’t focusing on God.
4. For God’s sake, keep your clothes on
The storyline of one of my soap operas went a little something like this: a married woman was upset that her husband kissed another woman, so she left and found herself in the bed of another man…her father-in-law. She finds out she’s pregnant, but is unsure if the baby is her husband’s…or her father-in-law’s. Her husband finds out about her affair, she finds out the baby is his, he leaves her anyway and her father-in-law swoops in to take care of her and her unborn baby.
While watching this unfold and I was thinking to myself, “what is the baby going to call him? Grandpa Daddy?”
Phew. If you need to read that again, I understand.
“Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself. You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God!” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
One of the things I’ve consistently said to my kids is, “why do we have rules?” To which they mundanely respond, “to keep us safe.” And although, yes, God gives us guidelines for our own protection, there is something so much more profound to His ‘rules.’
We don’t belong to ourselves. We belong to God. His Son is the one who paid the price for each of us. We will never be able to repay such a debt, and thankfully God doesn’t ask repayment of us, but we are able to honor that sacrifice by the way in which we live and the way we honor God with our bodies.
The bonus to keeping our clothes on? We don’t end up in ‘Grandpa Daddy’ situations.
5. Anything is possible
In the years that I’ve been watching soap operas, I’ve come to the realization that anything is possible in make-believe stories. And although I know this to be true of these shows, I still act surprised at every plot twist.
When we think of a ‘plot twist,’ we automatically think the worst. Going back to the shocking ‘Grandpa Daddy’ situation, there was a major plot twist that I didn’t see coming. After the baby was born, the once divorced husband and wife, found forgiveness and reconciled. My heart was bursting with love bubbles.
“Jesus looked at them intently, then said, ‘Without God, it is utterly impossible. But with God everything is possible.” – Mark 10:27
How many times have you experienced your own plot twist? ‘Whoa, didn’t see that coming…’
It’s true that most plot twists begin with a dilemma. But the most wonderful thing about God being the creator of our storyline is that with Him, anything is possible. ANYTHING! There is nothing out of the realm of possibility when it comes to our God.
He can take the messiest of situations and create something beautiful. He can make the impossible possible and He can make dreams come true. There is nothing too big for our God and there is nothing He won’t do for us.
All we have to do is trust Him. Believe in His promises and have faith in His word.
He is the master plot twister.
Yes, I indulge in soap operas. The stories are messy, the characters are aging, and there is a plot twist nearly every week.
Truly, the only difference between these fictional characters and me (besides the ‘Grandpa Daddy’ situation) is the creator of our stories. With God as my writer, He always has my best interest in mind. He is always prepared to get me through a plot twist. And with Him, I know that anything and everything is possible.