We recently saw the new Creed III movie with Michael B. Jordan. If you were a Rocky fan, you most likely have followed it through with Apollo’s son, Adonis, who also becomes a boxer. In the latest movie in the franchise, an old friend of Adonis (Damian Anderson) is released from prison.
Before I dive in, I have to comment on the physical condition both these actors obtained for the movie. Apparently, the man who plays Damian Anderson (Jonathon Majors) is a Christian and prayed his way through the entire process because it was really hard. I bet! An inspiration to us all!
If you are looking for a quick movie review, I would say Creed III is missing something from the others. It doesn’t have the same edge. That being said, I found it refreshing because it didn’t try to be like all the others. It moved a little slower and went a bit deeper emotionally. Of course it has the boxing scenes and language, but one in particular was handled so uniquely. If you are paying attention to the message of the movie, it is profound.
That leads me to the take away. I’ll back up to give you a bit of the story. Damian and Adonis grew up in a home together prior to Adonis connecting with Apollo’s wife who, by the way, wasn’t his biological mother. Apollo had an affair, and Adonis is the result of that relationship.
Both kids were smart and talented. Damian is a little older and began boxing first. I won’t give you all the details, but he gets into trouble and is sent to prison. Adonis was there but ran away and was never caught.
When Damian contacts Adonis, we think it is two long-lost friends finding each other. We soon learn, though, Damian is extremely angry and blames Adonis for his time in prison. This leads to—you guessed it—a boxing match.
The hatred and anger are seen with every blow from Damian, and Adonis is consumed with guilt. It’s an emotional battle, and I won’t tell you how it ends. I will tell you, however, that when it is all over, neither of them feels like they won. They both sit feeling defeated because they let their past define and control them.
Adonis apologizes for running away and leaving Damian holding the bag. What transpires next is the crux of the entire movie. Damian says, “We were just kids.” And in the minutes following, years of hurt and wounds melt away, and they heal their relationship. How? They stopped putting adult standards and expectations upon their childish decisions.
You see, we learn, grow, and mature as we age, but we can’t go back and expect our younger selves to behave differently. We don’t know what we don’t know! These kids were both doing the best they could without a family to love and nurture them.
They wasted years being angry or upset about how they reacted then because they have adult expectations now. Oh the anxiety and turmoil we create for ourselves when we forget this important point: keep your expectations realistic.
Have you beaten yourself up for mistakes made as a child or teen? Let it go. Are you expecting more of yourself than you are equipped with experience and knowledge now? Give yourself grace. We must first walk before we run. Most importantly, remember God has forgiven you and loves you dearly.
Don’t waste precious energy on trying to change the past – learn from it! Don’t give another second to feeling guilty for what you should have done years and years ago – do it better now. Since all we have is each other, take the lesson of Adonis and Damian and forgive those who hurt you. Most of us are doing the best we can with what we have. God extends grace to us every day, and we are called to extend it to others. And remember, forgiveness is for both parties. When we refuse to forgive, we end up in a boxing ring with ourself and come out a bloody mess.
As a coach who has endured physical and emotional challenges and come out the other side, I’m here to help you grow through your pain and find your purpose. Please don’t settle with being stuck. Give me a call, and we can start fresh today.