The 3 Harsh Truths I learned from Shawshank Redemption

In this post, I will share with you the lessons and hard truths that I learned from the movie, Shawshank Redemption. Let us take a look at the movie in light of the Scripture.

Shawshank Redemption was released in 1994, yet I only saw it last night. Can you believe that? 🙂

Well, I heard a lot of good reviews of this movie and got interested. I didn’t know that it would be such an interesting and amazing movie that I’m going to write about it.

(I recommend this movie for anyone to watch, but of course, like most movies, it contains scenes not suitable for young audience. If you want to watch this movie, you can get it from Amazon here.)

I think what really makes this movie special is it portrays some of life’s harshest truths — truths that if you accept early on in life, you’ll have a much happier and blessed life.

In this post, let me just share with you these lessons and truths that I believe you should learn from the movie.

But first, if in case you haven’t watch this movie yet, please watch this trailer:

1. Life is unfair

“It’s unfair!”

I often hear this not just from kids, but also from adults. Yep, that’s true. Life is unfair and you just have to live with that.

Andy, the main character of the Shawshank Redemption, was sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

While watching the movie, I wonder, “How many people are in the prison today who are paying for something they didn’t do?”

I could just imagine how frustrating and depressing that would be. Imagine, having all life’s years stolen from you.

Andy was that man. He was sentenced to two life imprisonment. He will have to spend the rest of his life behind bars and stone walls.

Thankfully, the Most High God isn’t unfair. In fact, He is the God of justice, mercy, and love.

Though this life is unfair, we can always go to God and ask for His justice.

Romans 12:19 tells us:

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says Yahweh.

God will fight our battles for us.

2. Evil people exist

As long as we live in this world, we will encounter people who are evil. People who only think about themselves. People who would satisfy their greed and pleasure at the expense of others.

In the movie, Andy experienced harsh treatment from other people. He was sexually abused, beaten, taken advantage of, and worst, denied of justice.

As this might be the case, though evil people exist, good people exist too. Sometimes, we even find kindness from the unlikeliest people.

No matter what happens, whether people are good or bad to us, we must consistently follow the instruction of the Bible:

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

When we pay good for evil, God can make our enemies our friend.

3. You need hope to survive

The prison life will suck all the hope that is in you.

In the movie, Red said to Andy:

“Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”

For people in prison, they have lost hope. They stopped thinking about the life that is beyond the walls that surround them.

For them, the life they have in prison is all they have. They come to the point where they don’t hope to be out any more.

Brooks was an old man who has been “institutionalized.” When he was released from prison, he felt useless and the life that he had was something he didn’t like. He wished to be back in prison where he has a sense of purpose of being a librarian.

For him, it is better to be in prison rather than be free.

He had lost hope that he would ever have a normal life outside Shawshank.

In the end, Brooks committed suicide. 

Hope is no doubt a powerful force.

It could give people a reason to live.

However, losing hope can be equally powerful.

It could make people think of ending their lives.

Jeremiah 17:7 tells us: 

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.”

As Christians, we are blessed with this blessed hope.

We don’t simply put our hope to anyone or anything but in God.

When God is our hope, we are given more reasons to live and to live for the better.

Final words

The movie, Shawshank Redemption is a fictional story, but it sure shows the reality of life. It teaches us how life can be too harsh at times, but we must also remember that life is still beautiful.

You know why?

Because we have God in our lives.

God is there to fight our battles for us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. As long as we put our hope in Him, we will surely endure until the end.

Recommended book:

The Power of His Word (Updated, 3D)

P.S. The Bible is filled with so much lessons that a lifetime is not enough to learn all of them. However, here’s a good place to start. I have written an eBook entitled, “The Power of His Word.” It comes with so many powerful lessons that can dramatically improve your faith and zeal in God. Click here to learn more.

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