One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian is not a book specifically for Christian filmmakers. However, it is a book that Christian filmmakers can benefit by reading.
One Way Love is about God’s love and the grace that He offers us. I absolutely love what Tullian has to say about the Bible and our Bible heroes. First, he begins by saying that “The Bible is a record of the blessed bad”. Then he elaborates. “Far from being a book full of moral heroes whom we are commanded to emulate, what we discover is that the so-called heroes in the Bible are not really heroes at all. They fall and fail; they make huge mistakes; they get afraid; they’re selfish, deceptive, egotistical, and unreliable.”
It is my personal experience that nothing humbles an individual like trying to make a movie. We start off with these visions of grandeur and conquer the world confidence, but it doesn’t take long to realize that our visions and reality may not be the same. It’s easy to get discouraged, wondering why on earth we ever decided to make a movie in the first place. We see these filmmaking giants who seem to have it all together and know exactly what they’re doing, and we don’t.
But God doesn’t judge us the way we judge ourselves. He knows our weaknesses and yet He still calls us to do great and wonderful things, like making movies.
Filmmakers can be particularly guilty of being “performancists” – people who judge our worth based on our performance. We have to create this perfect work of art that the critics love, is a box office hit, and flies off the shelves when it hits the shelves. If we can’t get it in the theaters or it doesn’t sell well, or, heaven help us, we get a negative review, we fall apart, questioning our self-worth.
And that’s where grace comes in, or one-way love. God loves us even if our movie never gets distributed and the critics shred it to pieces. We are still God’s child and He still loves us.
The final chapter in the book ends with the author comparing his philosophy at twenty-five compared to forty. “When I was twenty-five, I believed I could change the world, and I set about that task with all my strength… At forty, I have come to realize that I cannot change my wife, my church, or my kids, to say nothing of the world.” And with that realization comes a relief, a peace that we don’t have to change the world, only God can do that. “While I am far more incapable than I may have initially thought, God is infinitely more capable than I ever hoped.” What soothing words for filmmakers. We don’t have to change the world with our films. All we have to do is accept God’s one-way love and He takes care of the rest.
** DISCLOSURE: I received both of these books from FlyBy Promotions in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**