Battleship (Impressing Others)
Main Point: Wanting to impress someone is a fairly natural thing, but we can’t be unwise or sinful in the process.
The Movie Clip: Chicken Burrito
The movie Battleship pits the US Navy against an armada of unknown origins. This sci-fi action flick stars Taylor Kitsch (Hopper), Liam Neeson (Admiral Shane), Brooklyn Decker (Sam), and Rihanna (Weps) as personnel in the US Navy who find themselves in a training exercise that goes every kind of wrong imaginable. (The film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and for language.)
Lt. Hopper is a selfish loose cannon whose hotheadedness often gets him in trouble. Throughout the movie, he lands in one predicament after another because he lacks wisdom, just like in this scene below. The movie opens with Alex Hopper sitting in a bar on his birthday, drinking a beer with his older brother, when in walks the prettiest girl he’s ever seen. He tries to impress her, but fails miserably.
Introducing the Clip:
I want to show you a hilarious clip that comes from the beginning of the movie Battleship. It wasn’t the biggest and best sci-fi action flick about alien invasions, but it did provide plenty of humorous scenes…like this one right here. This clip is best described as boy sees girl, boy wants girl, but girl wants chicken burrito. Soooo, boy tries to get burrito for girl, boy gets…ummm…well, take a look for yourself.
BEGIN CLIP AT 0 HOUR 3 MINUTES AND 2 SECONDS.
- (This is a slightly longer scene, with an emphasis on action instead of dialogue, so a synopsis will be given instead of a character quotes.)
Alex Hopper and his older brother are sitting in a bar drinking a beer and celebrating Alex’s birthday. It’s clear that Alex is a bit of a loser – he needs a job, a car, and an apartment of his own. But instead of focusing on solving those problems, Alex is only interested in the cute girl who’s just walked in. His older, wiser brother tells him to forget about it and focus on fixing himself, but Alex doesn’t listen.
The cute girl, Sam, wants a chicken burrito, but the bartender tells her the kitchen is closed. Alex walks up to her and tries to hit on her. When he realizes that she wants a chicken burrito, he makes a promise to get her a chicken burrito if she’ll talk to him.
He dashes across the street to the convenience store to buy her a burrito, but it’s closed. So, the idiot decides the best thing to do is to break into the store. He sets off every alarm in the building, and as he is making his escape, the police arrive on the scene.
He runs back across the street holding the burrito high over his head as police officers chase him. Just as he’s about to deliver the chicken burrito to Sam, he gets tazed and goes down hard. He gets back up, gives the girl the hard-won burrito…and gets tazed again.
END CLIP AT 0 HOURS 8 MINUTES AND 2 SECONDS.
I’ve seen a lot of people try to impress others, but I’ve never seen somebody try so hard that they get tazed in the process. I can’t help but laugh when I watch that clip because there are soooooo many places where the train jumps the tracks. I want to grab Alex Hopper and say, “Bro, what were you thinking?” I understand that he wants to impress the girl, but he went about it the wrong way, entirely. Chances are good that you will want to impress someone down the road. That’s quite OK, and very natural. But when you go to impress someone of the opposite sex, you shouldn’t be unwise or sinful in the process. If you do, there will be consequences, sometimes even more severe than the ones that Alex faced.
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 CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite alien movie of all time.
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think Alex was trying to impress Sam? (Leaders – If they answer with, “Because she was hot/cute/pretty,” you might want to follow up with, “And is that a good enough reason?”)
- ASK A FEW: What were some of the unwise and foolish things that Alex did in trying to impress Sam?
- ASK A FEW: What were some of the consequences Alex faced for his decisions?
- ASK A FEW: Is it wrong to try to impress others? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: How would you have approached Sam differently?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever seen someone try to impress a person of the opposite sex, but have it blow up in their face? If so, what happened?
- AROUND THE CIRLCE: Tell the truth: have you ever tried to impress someone…but have it blow up in your face?
Read the following passage:
Judges 16:1-21 (NIV)
One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.” 3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. 4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” 6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” 7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh thongs that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” 8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh thongs that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. 9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the thongs as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered. 10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.” 11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” 12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads. 13 Delilah then said to Samson, “Until now, you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.” He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric. 15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. 17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” 18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. 20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him. 21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.
The clip that we watched was a humorous one, but sadly, it’s one that’s played out in real life way too many times. In one way or another, we’ve all seen it: a person wants to impress someone else, and they go to great lengths to do so, but it blows up in their face because they chose to be prideful, arrogant, self-serving, or foolish in the process.
Hopefully, now that we’ve looked at this passage and talked about healthy and responsible ways to impress others, you’ll be less likely to be a fool.
It’s definitely OK to want to impress others. We might want to impress a future boss, a teacher, our parents, or someone else. Everybody wants to put the right foot forward when something important is on the line. The trouble begins when we start acting foolishly in doing so.
Whenever we act foolishly, like Alex and Samson, we will pay the price for it. Granted, we probably won’t be tazed, or have our eyes gouged out, but we might lose our reputation. We might lose a close friend. We might lose our self-respect, or get hurt in some way.
My counsel to those of you who are trying to impress others is to serve them. Instead of trying to put the spotlight on yourself, highlight them! Instead of trying to get all the attention for yourself, try to make them the center of attention. Instead of acting like a celebrity, act like a servant. Those are just a few ways you will stand out from a crowd of people who are…well…trying to stand out.
You don’t have to be a fool to impress others. You don’t have to be sinful to do it, either. There are godly ways in which we can get someone else’s attention. Those are the ways I’d suggest we go about it because we know how it ends to do it any other way.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.