God is Not Your Genie (and Other Lessons from the Aladdin Movie)

We recently watched the remake of the movie Aladdin. Here are the important lessons I want to share with you.

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“I am the genie of the lamp. You have three wishes.”

You probably have heard this line many years ago from the popular Disney movie, “Aladdin.” I remember watching this movie way back around the 1990s when I was a child and the memory of it has become a little hazy.

Now, just recently, we watched the remake of Aladdin. It’s kind of amazing how modern cinematography and technology could bring a new life to your childhood memory. In all honesty, my expectation was exceeded and the movie was worth our time and money.

Looking back, I learned a few lessons from the movie and I would also like to share them with you through this blog.

God is Not Your Genie

What are the lessons we can learn from the movie Aladdin?

God is not your personal genie

The first lesson I learn from the movie Aladdin is that you can’t make a personal genie out of God.

You see, a lot of people today, especially Christians, are just in it for what they can get out of religion. You see this attitude especially in groups whose main selling point is the prosperity gospel. They believe that God is there to follow their wishes as long as they stay committed to them.

The Bible promised that God will surely be our help in trouble. However, you are greatly mistaken if you believe that the life of a Christian is easy and smooth sailing. In fact, Yahshua (whose name is popularly known as Jesus Christ) said this:

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:38-39).

Yes, God is there to bless us and provide all our needs. However, if you think that God is your personal genie, a big magical blue dude who is there to grant you three wishes, you’re wrong.

The truth is that it is us who should be doing the wishes and will of God and not the other way around.

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No amount of power can satisfy you

When Genie was explaining to Aladdin what type of wishes he might be interested in, he said in essence, “Don’t wish for power. A lot of men have coveted for it and yet they were not satisfied.”

I didn’t get word by word what Genie said, but that’s essentially what he was saying.

I believe that is true.

Jafar, who finally got the lamp and control over Genie, thought that he is now the most powerful being in the entire universe – until Aladdin said otherwise. He is not the most powerful and in fact, he comes just second to Genie.

Though he already possesses great power, enough power to rule the entire world, it wasn’t enough for him. Because of his disatisfaction, he wished that he would be more powerful than Genie and so, he turned himself into a genie as well.

The Bible tells us:

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (I Timothy 6:6-8).

If only all people realize that, this world should be a better place to live in. If you live this life solely for power, then you will only miserably fail. People who constantly compare themselves to others and never get content would only hurt themselves in the process.

Now, of course, I’m not saying that it is wrong to have ambitions in life. My point is that you should do your best and let God do the rest. If at the end of the day you know you have done your best, then that should be enough. You just leave the result to God.

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Looks can be deceiving

Genie told Aladdin after making him a prince:

“I made you look like a prince on the outside. But I didn’t change anything on the inside.”

People are no doubt visual oriented. We are quick to judge based on what we see. While it has already been a cliche, I’ll say it anyway:

“It is not what you are in the outside, but what you are in the inside.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look better. But if the will to look better is stronger than the will of developing your godly character, then that’s where the problem starts.

We read in I Peter 3:3-4:

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

It is true that Genie was able to transform Aladdin and transform him into a prince, but in essence and substance, it is still the same Aladdin.

Thankfully, God is more concerned with our heart. While humans can be deceived, God can’t. He can discern every thought and motive behind every action that we have. For this reason, it is important that we must do our best in improving how we look in the inside rather than how we look in the outside.

Final words

Aladdin is such a great movie and I highly recommend them to anyone. Of course, let me tell you right off the bat that the movie isn’t perfect.

Aladdin who might just be trying to survive is not justified when he steals food from others. Even princess Jasmin is not justified when he lied to Aladdin that she is just a handmaid.

So, while I recommend this movie, parents and guardians should be quick in teaching their children the things that are wrong in the movie and at the same time, teach them of the vital lessons from the story.

How about you, have you watched the movie Aladdin? Let me hear your thoughts about the movie below. 🙂


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4 thoughts on “God is Not Your Genie (and Other Lessons from the Aladdin Movie)

  1. Hey Joshua,

    Your post on Aladdin and what we can learn about God was fantastic. Whenever people engage with the secular culture and shows how we can learn and grow in our walk with Christ always encourages me. We need more people that can be in the world but not of the world!

    Your ebook The Seven Powerful Habits of Highly Effective Christians was also encouraging. I appreciate most your chapter on prayer and how you encourage everyone to just pray regularly! Praying before meals is something I think should be emphasized more which I’m very grateful you address.

    But your point on keeping a prayer journal is what I think is most important. I actually wrote/developed a prayer journal for people so that they journal their prayers easily without the fear of having to write 500 words every day! *You can find my Prayer Planner attached.*

    Because you teach and encourage passionately to brothers and sisters in Christ to love and grow in God, I was wondering if your audience would appreciate learning about how our personality can help and hinder us in it. I would love to partner together in someway to help your audience grow in Christ.

    *Would you be interested in exploring more?*

    Ryan Lui | Ryanlui.com Author of Being is Greater than Doing Accredited Enneagram Practitioner with iEQ9

    On Mon, May 27, 2019 at 1:36 AM Becoming Christians wrote:

    > joshuainfantado posted: “We recently watched the remake of the movie > Aladdin. Here are the important lessons I want to share with you. “I am the > genie of the lamp. You have three wishes.” You probably have heard this > line many years ago from the popular Disney movie, “Aladdin.” ” >

    Like

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