Chris Kutcher (aka, Ashton Kutcher) gave a speech at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards this past weekend that has gone viral. First, he somewhat jokingly called himself a fraud because his name really isn’t Ashton, but Chris. He then went on to share with the teen audience what he called “some really amazing things I learned when I was Chris.”
It caught my attention because of the wide range of news outlets praising its content. Everyone from Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, to MTV and The Huffington Post are praising the speech.
While watching the video and reviewing the text of his speech, it struck me that much of what he was saying were Biblical principles. Many people have said he was quoting Steve Jobs as a way to promote the release of his new movie. Maybe so, but whether he knew it or not, his ideas are right out of Holy Scripture.
Let’s put Ashton’s words of wisdom side-by-side with the God-breathed words of The Bible (all quotes from ESV translation):
1. Work Hard
I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. I never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a stepping-stone to my next job. And I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (Colossians 3:23).
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied (Proverbs 13:4).
For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12).
In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty (Proverbs 14:23).
2. Be smart, thoughtful (kind), and generous
The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful and being generous. Everything else … is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.
On being smart (i.e., not foolish)-
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back (Proverbs 29:11).
A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul (Proverbs 18:7).
On being thoughtful / kind-
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God (Romans 12:17-19).
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).
On being generous-
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11).
3. Live outside (don’t buy into) this world
This final point involves a little more interpretation on my part, but the principle he communicated is clear nonetheless. Kutcher mentioned “not buying into” what this world tries to sell to us. The Bible calls this principle “not being of this world.” It’s all about not being a sell out, or trying to conform to the lies of a culture that- as Ashton put it- ”is crap that people sell you to make you feel like less.” In fact, this very principle is the meaning behind the name of this blog, “Counter Culture”.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).
Ironically, Kutcher has served this crap to our youth many times throughout his career. Perhaps this speech is going to be a professional turning point for him? Maybe so, but with roles such as Two and Half Men, and the crap that show sells through the medium of evening television, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Kutcher concluded his speech with a philosophical command for his audience to “build” their lives, rather than just living them. The unanswered part of that command, though, is build our lives on what? Our own ideas are great, but they wont get us all the way to where we need to be. To successfully build our life based on our ideas, those ideas need a foundation. What should it be?
Thankfully, the Bible has an answer to those questions, too.
And you can build your own things, and build your own life… [rather than just living one]
Jesus said, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
What is “the rock” to which Jesus is referring? Jesus, himself, is The Rock. His Word- the Word of God. Ashton Kutcher was almost there. We can do many things through ourselves and our ideas. But only through Christ, can we do ALL things!