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Nature vs Nurture | Cruella Devotional

This week on Geek Devotions, Celeste is taking a look at Disney’s Cruella. In this origin story we discover how Cruella became… cruel. But did she have to become cruel?

Today we are taking on a discussion that is greatly debated, all while talking about Cruella.

Spoiler warning

In the movie, you see a little girl named Estella, who is being raised by a mother who loves her. Estella is what some would call a difficult child, but she loves her mother and tries to live up to her mom’s expectations. Early on in the film, her mother dies, leading Estella to run away and end up with child versions of Horace and Jasper. They are all parent-less, but they band together, and honestly, it’s a pretty positive environment for what it is. You discover that Estella has always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, so Horace goes to some great lengths to get her a job at a fashion store. Through some interesting events, she gets hired on to work for a fashion designer named the Baroness. 

As you see Estella delve deeper into this fashion world, you see her slowly lose the hold she had on compassion and the “good” personality in her. At one point, the guys point out that she’s not Estella anymore but rather “Cruella,” the name she has taken on when she doesn’t want to be the sweet, kind person Estella is. Aside from the obvious mental issues that she is experiencing, Estella is making a choice to become Cruella. She’s choosing to lean into the environment she’s in and adapt to it by becoming like it.

In 1st Corinthians 15:33 we see this timeless truth…

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
1st Corinthians 15:33

The whole conversation of nurture vs. nature is an interesting conversation that can come from this movie. Estella was nurtured in her creativity while holding to what could be called good morals. But her nature was chaotically verging on evil. When she purposefully put herself in the fashion world, her nature came out more. As Christians, we need to be mindful of who and what we are partaking in and who we are hanging around—not saying to not have friends that aren’t Christians or shun people and things that don’t line up with scriptures but be mindful. Does you’re attitude change when you hang around someone a lot? Is it for the good or the bad? If it’s for the bad, maybe you need not be around them all the time.

A good example of this is when we are watching this movie. There’s a part where Estella says the word Fart instead of another four-lettered word. I’ve been watching a lot of stuff recently that is geared towards adults. While we try to stay away from anything with excessive language, it took me by surprise that they said Fart. I am going to monitor what I’m watching and make sure that I am filling my time with more positive influences than I have been. As believers, we have to remember that we have the choice. We have the choice to hold ourselves accountable or not. 

Romans 14:12 is a key verse here.

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:12

So even if you had a terrible childhood, or you are in a horrible environment all the time, you have the choice as to how you act. You have the choice as to what you do. And if you mess up, you have the choice to apologize and grow from that moment. 

Question of the week: Estella dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, and her mother encouraged those dreams. What is a dream that you have that hasn’t been achieved yet?

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