7 Religious Lessons from True Grit (maybe just six)

by Kevin on September 1, 2010

I found out the other day that Hollywood is remaking the great western classic True Grit. It comes out on December 25, 2010. I feel like I have received an early Christmas present from Jesus himself.

To give you a little taste of the original True Grit, watch this trailer from it’s release in 1969. I love the rating it got at the end. My how things have changed.

I got up this morning and watched half of that show. How did I do that? I have it recorded. I think it’s safe to say that if you don’t have True Grit recorded or on video that you have committed some sort of sin. But the reason I watched about half of it was because I couldn’t remember something that I have always wondered. Was there any evidence that the honorable J. Noble Daggett even existed.

I don’t think I’m the only one that wondered if Mattie was using that wonderful vocabulary, quick wit, and a fictional super-lawyer to scare all the people that seemed to get in her way. Well, it worked.

She didn’t just sit back and ask her lawyer to get things done for her. She was willing to go to the ends of the earth to find what she was lookin’ for. But when there seemed to be an impass, she called on the name of J. Noble Daggett and the doors that were closed were opened.

Without any evidence of J. Noble Daggett, people could see her belief in what her lawyer could get done. She was well versed in what he was able to do on her behalf and that confidence in her lawyer got things moving for her.

There’s lessons to be learned from Mattie and I hope that you can see the parallels to our Christian lives.

  • Mattie didn’t have to prove what her lawyer could do to anyone. She knew who he was and what he was capable of and that’s all she needed.
  • Mattie wasn’t scared to step out of her comfort zone when she had a job to do.
  • Mattie put more faith in what she saw inside Rooster than the image he portrayed to the world by the way he lived his life.
  • Mattie knew she couldn’t complete her task without help and went out and found the man that could.
  • Mattie never let her morals escape her, even when surrounded by drunks, thieves, and killers.
  • Mattie could trade horses (OK, so that’s just something that I admired–it’s kind of a long stretch religiously)
  • Mattie found out that sometimes you find what you are searchin’ for by fallin’ down a hill.

Mattie kept lookin’ for someone with grit in their guts and sand in their belly. She thought she found that in Rooster Cogburn and in a way, I guess she did. But in the end, the True Grit was found in her.

Oh, and one last thing. If you haven’t seen this movie then I don’t feel the least bit bad for this spoiler. It’s a spoiler for our Christian lives too. In the end, J. Noble Daggett was for real. He came back to tell Rooster thank you for a job well done–and just like the movie, the One who opens doors for us in our trials and tribulations is comin’ back too.

Can you think of any lessons that I didn’t list?

What was your favorite quote? (Mattie Ross to Ranger LeBeouf: I have no regard for you, but I’m sure you have enough for yourself to go around.)

Print Friendly

  • Well since we’re supposed to confess our sins, I’ll confess that I have never seen the movie and I didn’t even know what it was about until I read your article this AM. Even then I feel like i should go check it out on wikipedia or IMDB to get a better feel for the narrative….or I could just watch the movie I suppose lol.

    • Kevin

      Thanks for confessin’ your sin and repent and watch the movie. You won’t regret it. Even if you are not a fan of western movies, it’s a great show. John Wayne won Best Actor Academy Award for this movie.

      Let me know when you get it watched.

  • Deschanel

    I cannot imagine that there would ever be a more perfect Mattie or Rooster than Kim Darby and John Wayne.

    • Kevin

      Agreed, but I have watched the movie trailer and the two new actors seem to do quite a job. I’ll be watchin’ it. Thanks for stopping by.

Previous post:

Next post: