Friday, January 17, 2014

Lessons from The Hunger Games

If you guys haven’t figured it out by now, I only really love two particular things in the culture. I don’t agree with everything they might say, but I can honestly say it’s worth it. Those things are Taylor Swift (shocker, I know) and The Hunger Games Series.

I read the Hunger Games last year. At first, I was unsure about them. After reading the whole thing, I loved them. The emotion and excitement was just amazing. Okay, there will a few things that I felt could have been better. It wasn't completely clean. The violent was extreme. Overall, the books were worth reading. In fact, they were one of those kinds of books that you can go back to and read over again. You would never get tired of them either.

I have to confess though; I am not a huge fan of Katniss. I liked her a lot. She was a good main character and definitely put the reader on 'fire.' My favorite character was Peeta. I've always been into the nicer guys, guys that have more knowledge than physical strength. I like the guys who are sensible. Naturally, I liked Peeta. I loved how he never stopped loving Katniss, even when she was mean to him. Maybe he didn't love her the entire time, but the real him did. 

Honestly, Katniss didn't strike me as a likable character. She was unstable and mean. Half the time she 'loved' Peeta she was being influenced by something else, like hatred for the government.

Other times, though, she was very kind and caring. It was when she was caring for Prim and Rue, or risking her life to save Peeta did I really see her sensitive and loving side. Overall, as I read Mocking Jay again, I saw what a hateful person she was. My favorite scene in the book is when she saves Peeta from being killed by the mutts. Even then though, she was influenced because she didn't want President Snow to win!

Yesterday, I realized how Katniss relates to me. Throughout the story, like other characters, she killed people. She did it to protect herself and other people. Still, she could have avoided ending life sometimes. When Katniss did murder, however, she was haunted by the memories, flashbacks, and dreams. Even if she did it because her enemies were trying to harm her or her friends, she regretted taking out people. She wasn't like her best friend, Gale, who slaughtered mercilessly. Throughout the book, she lived in the times where she murdered or blamed herself for the death of someone. It definitely made her unstable. The blood was on her hands. It made her dreams horrible.

I've never murdered anyone, though I have murdered in the heart. But I do sin. The 'blood' is on my hands. It haunts me. I can't count how many times I've beat myself over the head because of my sins. Not all of them are recent sins either. A lot of them are stuff I did years ago! 

The point is, like Katniss, my sins haunt me. Why? Because I have a conscience. At the end of the book, it is clear that she had a scar that wouldn't be healed.

There is something the book lacked.

Forgiveness. Now forgiveness wasn’t completely out of the picture. She forgave Peeta and Peeta forgave her repeatedly. But there were some people she never forgave. In the end, she held a grudge against her betrayers and deceased enemies, like Gale and President Snow. Now it was understandable. But no matter what happened, she was angry at people for hurting her. She was trapped and didn’t realize it.

Early in the book, she admitted she wasn’t the forgiving type. In the series, no one knew the true meaning of forgiveness because no one had experienced it for themselves. That’s why the memories of murders and innocent people being killed would haunt her forever. It was made known in the end that they would never stop. She didn’t know what it meant to be truly forgiven or what it meant to truly forgive.

It’s not something I expected from the books because it was secular. But again, I am like Katniss. I am unlikeable. I am hateful. Sometimes when I do try to love someone, I am influenced by something else. My sins are a part of my flesh. They adore tormenting me. Unlike her, though, I know something she didn’t.

I know the true meaning of forgiveness.

Jesus died for my sins. He paid the final price. During the series, you could understand a part of her character well. She hated owning someone for something. The truth is, I don’t have to live with that burden. I don’t have to obsess over the fact that He suffered because of me and I have to pay him back. He wants me to live for Him, but not because I want to stop owning him. Wanting me to dedicate our lives to Him, He desires our lives because He wants us to love adoring Him. It’s not about debts. Instead, it’s about a debt that was paid.

That’s how I relate to Katniss. The blood was on my hands, but Jesus washed it away.

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