For those who are unaware of who Bret Hart is, he is a retired professional wrestler who worked for the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) and WCW (World Championship Wrestling) for many years. He is best known for his work with Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Kevin Nash, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and his brother Owen Hart. Even though he was one of the best wrestlers to ever step foot in the square circle, he indeed wrestled with shadows.
In the late 90’s wrestling was changing and Bret Hart didn’t agree with all of it. Bret believed the company went from being about legitimate professional wrestling into a show that’s not even kid appropriate, especially with acts like D-X (Degeneration X) a group known for their childish high school humor and raunchy sexual acts. Therefore, Bret and Shawn Michaels (leader of D-X) had legitimate beef due to creative differences between the two. Bret was a man’s man meaning his word was his bond and he took his job and his family seriously. On the other hand, here was Shawn Michaels. Before he was saved Shawn was of the world around this time. He chased women, did drugs, drank, and had a bad attitude. To say the two couldn’t stand one another would be an understatement. They hated one another.
Their hatred boiled over into the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” which took place on November 9, 1997, Survivor Series at the Molson Centre in Canada. At the time Bret was the WWF champion and Shawn was the challenger. Bret did not want to put him over (let Shawn win) because Bret believed Shawn didn’t respect the business, or even himself. But after Bret’s meeting with the boss Vince Mcmahon was over, they both agreed to a disqualification (meaning nobody would win the match) because he didn’t want to lose in his hometown of Canada.
The match began as an all-out brawl where the two gladiators went at it for all the marbles. After a while, the match settled down and became a technical wrestling match. Shawn went to slap the sharpshooter on Bret. Bret sold the sharpshooter and looked to make his way to the bottom rope so referee Earl Hebner could break the count. However, Vince Mcmahon who was ringside, took matters into his own hands and demanded that Earl ring the bell! The bell rang and Shawn was “awarded” the title which infuriated Bret, causing him to spit on Vince’s face!
Now I know what you’re thinking. Caleb, what does wrestling have to do with the reality we face as believers? Don’t you know wrestling is only entertainment? You can’t learn anything from this, it’s all “fake”. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s more real than you think. As believers we all wrestle with shadows. We deal with demonic warfare whether it be at our job or with family/friends. And sometimes, those demons get the best of us which causes us to turn from a babyface (good person) into an evil being (heel).
After I was baptized I felt that “Holy High” that didn’t require any drugs, sex, or alcohol. I wasn’t swearing, looking at porn, nor did I have a desire to go back to the clubs/bars. But the enemy has been trying to attack me. He keeps trying to tell me, “Caleb man, just live a little. These “shadows” you keep whining about are not darkness. It’s just harmless fun. Besides, you’re 27, single, and you don’t have any kids. Why don’t you live a little? I mean, you only live once man!”
Just like Bret Hart I could follow the culture and be a degenerate because I just want to have fun. I can compromise my faith in God and go back to my old ways out of familiarity. I could lie to myself and say, “I know what to do now. I’m mature!”
I can’t lie, these thoughts have distorted my way of thinking which caused me to make a brief heel turn.
A handful of times I made jokes that weren’t of the Kingdom, my anger caused me to swear like a sailor and use His name in vain, I entertained highly sexual material, and almost walked back into dark territories. However, the old me never would repent. I would use the ol’ cliche, “God knows my heart”. Which is true but God also wanted me to repent. So I got on my knees and repented to Him. Which turned me back into the babyface that God wants me to be!
It’s been a rocky journey with everything going on but I’m reminded that from John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Even though they did screw Bret he still stood up for what believed in. My Pastor on (9/12/21) discussed having character and integrity. Which in a similar fashion to Bret Hart I have done my best to uphold His will. I am ready to die for Him. I’ve been vilified, hated, and casted aside by the entire world for following Him. However, I still trust in Him.
Bret and I aren’t liked by everybody but we are respected by everybody. It hurts your mental, physical, and spiritual walk with the Lord when people try to cast verbal and even physical stones at you because you stand for what’s right. But it’s worth it because one day you will enter the kingdom of heaven and God will say, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21)
I believe the pain and torment we face from the world for standing on God’s Word is worth it. I don’t believe we should fold for the culture and turn to evil in fear because (Psalm 23:4) states, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” The world will never be able to break my faith in Him because with Him I am strong and stand tall. The lord is the Alpha and Omega and he is worthy to be praised.
Even though they’ve tried to back me into a corner like Bret Hart, I am not defeated because Proverbs 24:16, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” On November 9, 1997 at Survivor Series the ones who chose to be wicked and screw Bret Hart couldn’t even look his wife (at the time) in the eye because Bret’s light shined so bright everywhere he went. And when you screw over a righteous man, may the Lord have mercy on your soul.
For those of you who feel like getting revenge, as I’ve said before, “DON’T!” You are a child of God now. Let the Father take control and you just focus on being a good person. I can tell numerous times when I chose evil when I wasn’t saved which caused me to feel miserable and empty! However, when I chose God I now feel whole and understand it’s best not to play that game but it’s best to just walk away. In return, my light has shined bright and my character has spoken volumes. Choose the light instead of the darkness. Many who choose darkness can’t hold eye contact very long and not only wrestle with shadows daily but will live in those shadows for eternity until they repent for their wicked ways.
Wrestling with Shadows:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wZhA5s3kI
Dark Side of the Ring Season 1 Episode 2 – The Montreal Screwjobhttps://www.dailymotion.com/video/x77tjsh