This week, our friend Paul Turner takes a look at the family trauma found in the MCU and specifically in Shang Chi while also examining a difficult truth; family trauma doesn’t have to define who you are.

Free Resource

Interested in Paul’s “The Youth Pastor’s Guide to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings” curriculum set?

Written Devotional

Do you think super heroes have it easy with their families? Based on what we know about the MCU thus far, Tony Stark had an overbearing father, Black Widow’s parents sent her to assassin school and Gamora and Nebula’s dad, Thanos, well, get worse dad of the millennia. We all have family issues because, well, humans. Overcoming the past and family issues are a running a theme in super hero movies because they’re so relatable. 

The new marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is all about family. 

It’s all about Shang-Chi who moves to San Francisco to blend in and forget about his past because his father, Wenwu, was training him to be an assassin. He doesn’t want any part of that world. He just wants to be normal.

Shang-chi goes about his business, hides behind all that charism and denies there is any greater purpose for his life. Shang-chi is neglecting his call to be a hero and is hiding in the shadows. 

Does that sound familiar?

Are you someone in whom God has placed something cool in your heart but because of your past or family have decided to hide in the shadows and deny the calling God has put on your life? 

This reminds me of Gideon who God found hiding in a wine press. Gideon did not want to go to war and did not want the enemy to find him, so he hid. God showed up and called to Gideon, “Greetings might man of valor! I need you to do something for me”

Gideon’s response, “Who are you talking to? If you knew me you certainly would not call on me to do something heroic. My tribe is the least of all the tribes and I am the least in my tribe.” 

This idea did not come out of nowhere. Someone told him, taught him that. Because of this, what other choice did Gideon have? He chose to hide. 

After some coaxing, Gideon comes out of the winepress and discovers he has a bigger part in the world. God guides and directs Gideon to do some pretty heroic things. Gideon discovered he could become more than he ever dreamed of. I encourage you to read the whole story, chapters 6-8 of Judges.

God knows you have a past or a messed up family, but having a past or messed up family does not disqualify you from doing great things. Don’t hide in the background, step out of the shadows and be who God designed you to be. 

You’re not going to be the perfect Christian, no one is. All people are broken but God uses broken, imperfect people just like Gideon. 

If you’ve had thoughts about your past or family and they’ve been holding you back from doing great things, consider taking God up on his offer of forgiveness so you can live your life according to God’s design.

Remember, one of the most heroic deeds you can do is to step out of the shadows and admit you’re not perfect.