(Warner Bros. Pictures, 2005)
Main Point of Discussion:
Regardless of who we are inside, our actions matter.
The Movie Clip:
“It's what you do that defines you.”
is a great movie with several clips that provoke discussion. The film is exactly what the title implies: the beginning of Batman. It has enjoyable action, great performances, and a solid script with the theme of “the development of one's character” intertwined throughout the plot.
The clip we are using for this particular discussion features Bruce Wayne (before he takes on the persona of Batman) in a hotel that he has just bought. He is rude and arrogant, living it up in his affluence. However, he runs into a friend from his past who calls him out for his lack of character. It's a pivotal moment in the movie.
Introducing the Clip:
Today I want to show you a clip from the movie
Batman Begins. Many of you have already seen this movie, but for those who haven’t, this scene begins with Bruce Wayne and his lady friends exiting a large hotel restaurant after making a huge scene and swimming in the decorative indoor pond. Bruce is rich and arrogant, or so it seems, and he writes a check for the price of the hotel in order to not get kicked out of the hotel’s restaurant. On his way out he runs into Rachel, his childhood friend who has some interesting things to say about his actions. Let’s take a look at this scene.
BEGIN CLIP AT 1 hour 9 minutes and 54 seconds (in Chapter 21).
END CLIP AT 1 hour 11 minutes and 22 seconds.
Bruce: (clearly embarrassed to see Rachel) Rachel?
Rachel: I’d heard you were back. What are you doing?
Bruce: Just swimming. Wow, it is good to see you.
Rachel: You were gone a long time.
Bruce: I know. How are things?
Rachel: The same. Job’s getting worse.
Bruce: Can’t change the world on your own.
Rachel: What choice do I have, when you’re too busy swimming?
Bruce: (embarrassed) Rachel, all of… all this… it’s—it’s not me. (at a loss for words) It’s… inside, I am…I am more.
(Bruce’s lady companions yell for him from his car parked just out front of the hotel—“Bruce, we have some more hotels for you to buy.”)
Rachel: Bruce, deep down you may still be that same great kid you used to be. But it’s not who you are underneath… it’s what you do that defines you.
(Rachel walks away and Bruce stares off.)
In this scene it is obvious that Bruce is embarrassed by his actions when he sees his good friend Rachel. He tries to explain himself, but it's too late. There would be no sweet talking out of this one. His actions had been noted.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, tell everyone your name and if you had enough money to buy any building in the world, which building you would buy and why?
- ASK A FEW: As in the scene we just saw, have you ever seen someone doing something wrong and get caught in the act? What did the person do?
- ASK A FEW: Share a time you were doing something wrong and got caught in the act. How did you react?
- ASK A FEW: Why do we try to explain ourselves in these situations? (leader—the answer you might be looking for: because we want them to know that this is not what we’re really like; we’re better than this)
- ASK A FEW: Do our outward actions reflect who we are inside? If so, how?
- ASK A FEW: How do our actions define us even more than our words?
Read the following passage:
ASK SOMEONE: According to this passage, faith is proven by what? (leader—the answer you are looking for: vs. 14, our actions)
ASK A FEW: How do actions prove what someone believes? (leader—the answer you might be looking for: someone who says “I’m trustworthy,” but lies repeatedly isn't trustworthy. Someone who says “I’m reliable,” but doesn’t show up when promised, isn't.)
ASK A FEW: This Bible passage states “Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all.” Why are our good deeds so important? (leader—the answer you might be looking for: They reflect our faith-or lack of faith if we aren't doing good; faith is about who we really are inside.)
ASK A FEW: The Bible passage gives an example of our actions not matching our words: telling someone “stay warm and eat well” but doing nothing to help them. What are some common actions people might do today that don’t match their words?
ASK A FEW: Think of an “action” in your life that is wrong and might be embarrassing for all to see. Does this action match your words about it?
ASK A FEW: What can we do to remove these wrong actions from our lives?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: In the movie clip, Bruce’s friend Rachel says that “it’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.” How do your actions define you in the eyes of others? How do people see you? Do people see Christ in you?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are you going to do this week to start making your actions match your words?
Tonight we’ve been considering the statement “it’s what we do that defines us.” For some of us, that’s really scary. Many of us have identified actions in our lives that don’t belong there. They are actions that “define” a person we don’t want to be. But that doesn’t have to be a permanent situation. We can change that right now. As believers in Christ we have an opportunity to reflect Christ with our actions. Matthew 5:16 reads, “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”(NLT) We have an opportunity to give others a glimpse of Christ through us-through our actions and good deeds.
James 2:14-17 (NLT)
 Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can't save anyone.  Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing,  and you say, "Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well"—but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
 So you see, it isn't enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.
Let’s bow our heads so we can think about ourselves and not those around us. As you sit there with your eyes closed and your head bowed, I want you to think about what others see when they look at your actions. And for some of us, what if people saw some of the actions that we keep hidden? What would they think then? Our actions matter. And many of us have actions in our lives that we need to change-and now is the time. It is time to make our actions match our words.
Close in Prayer