Braveheart The Courage to Lead
Braveheart follows the legacy of a man named William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson), a bold Scotsman, who used his sword and his intelligence to rally and free his fellow countrymen against the tyranny of England. After losing his wife to the villainy of England’s laws, Wallace leads Scotland against the mighty armies of England and their murderous leader, King Edward, also known as Longshanks.
The movie stirs deep emotions about freedom and oppression and justice inside the story it tells. One scene in particular shows the character of William – when he confronts one of the most powerful leaders of his people, Robert the Bruce.
Robert: If you make enemies on both sides of the border, you’ll end up dead.
Wallace: We all end up dead. It’s just a question of how and why.
Robert: I’m not a coward. I want what you want, but we need the nobles.
Wallace:We need them?
Wallace: Nobles. Now tell me, what does that mean, to be noble? Your title gives you claim to the throne of our country, but men don’t follow titles. They follow courage. Now, our people know you. Noble and common, they respect you, and if you would just lead them to freedom, they’d follow you. And so would I.
That was a pretty tense moment between Wallace and Robert. It’s never easy to challenge someone, and usually it’s not so easy to be challenged either! In this scene, both men were moved outside of their comfort zones…but that’s what leaders do. They face their trials head on.
It’s always amazing to me that when leaders use their strengths, they can rally people to follow them.
Let’s spend the next few moments talking about leadership so we can better understand how to lead in God’s Kingdom.
- What makes someone a leader?
- Would you follow someone like William Wallace? Why?
- Is God waiting on you to lead in some way?
- Sometimes the position we are in requires more than we are comfortable with. This is a struggle that leaders have no doubt had for years.
- Take Esther for example. In Esther 3, Mordecai (a man who loved and feared God), discovered a plot by the evil Haman to wipe out every living Jew in the kingdom. This story takes place when God’s people are already conquered, spread out in other nations, and weak. It would be relatively easy to completely destroy God’s people during this era. So, Mordecai does the only thing he knows to do; he goes and pleads with his family member, Esther, who has just been made queen of the land next to King Xerxes.
- Read the following passage: Esther 3:13-17
“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.”
- What was Esther risking to help Mordecai and her people?
- In what ways should you be leading right now, but you’re not?
- What happens when we don’t lead?
- Take a moment to share a way that you will lead this week.
Braveheart tells the story of how one man stepped up and led his country to freedom against injustice and oppression. But we also read another true story, this one from the Bible, about how one girl stepped up and saved her entire nation.
The movie Braveheart closes with the death of William Wallace. But before it ends, we’re told that, because of his leadership, Scotland went on to win its freedom. Likewise, we didn’t read the entire story of Esther, so let me tell you how it ends. The Bible claims that Esther was used by God in powerful ways, to not only save herself and Mordecai, but the ENTIRE nation of Israel! Instead of hundreds of thousands of innocent Jews being murdered, they were all spared.
And all because one young girl decided to lead.
So, what about you? Are you leading? If so, how are you doing? If not, why not?
I want to challenge you if you are not currently leading. Look around you. What do you see? You probably see hurting people, lonely people, and lost people. Some of them are your friends; some of them are your family. What will you do about it? Will you let God use you to change their lives? Will you lead?
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for parents on his website TheSource4Parents.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.