Hard Man to Softened Heart

The archetypal Hollywood tough guy is Bruce Willis, known for his portrayal of officer John McClane in the Die Hard films (1988–2013). Macho, manly and usually covered in his opponents’ blood, he survives explosions, gunfire, beatings and falls. Yet when his face appeared on the first Die Hard’s cinema advertising, audiences laughed and even booed. In the mid to late eighties, he was far better known for starring in the popular TV comedy drama Moonlighting, as David Addison, the quipping detective. Cinema-goers simply could not believe that Addison could become a McClane. His face was consequently removed from the advertising. The film proved to be a great success, earning $141 million worldwide, while redefining the genre, and spinning off four similarly scripted films.

He who was mocked for playing a Hollywood tough guy became its very epitome. Various men and women of Bible times might have caused cinema audiences to mock, when they compared their former lives to the lives they lived for Christ. Peter the tough fisherman, who wrote so gently to his congregations; Saul of Tarsus, the hardnosed persecutor and Christ-hater, who was transformed into the patient sufferer and exhorter of the gospel; the promiscuous Samaritan woman who became Samaria’s first evangelist. God takes the most unlikely of people and converts them into wonderful trophies of saving grace. There may be people reading this now, known for their filthy words, angry persona and antagonistic views of ‘religion’. Yet the gracious God of heaven is already doing a work in their calloused hearts, softening and diminishing their pride, that they might hear and respond to His loving overtures. Perhaps you are such a one?

Your friends might never believe it. Your partner will laugh aloud. Your work mates will think you’ve gone mad. Yet you are drawn to Christ, for you hear His words ring true:

“I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions,

And like a cloud, your sins.

Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:22)


I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

Image by darkosky from Pixabay