What are the lessons that we can learn from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. There are 6 lessons that we can learn from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: good looks aren’t everything, someone’s background does not determine their value as a person or in the sight of God, don’t underestimate anyone based on size or appearance, actions do not always equal intentions (God judges us on what is in our hearts), be wary of who you open yourself up to and we all have choices to make.
1. Good looks aren’t everything.
In this book we meet Gilderoy Lockhart. He is a celebrity who has been hired to be the Defense Against Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. He loves to brag about all the dark entities he has defeated. He relies only on his good looks and celebrity to get by when in reality he has never actually done any of the things that he claims to have done. The lesson we learn from this is that appearances can be deceiving and that unless we know what is within the heart of a person we can never truly know that person. This is how God looks at people.
2. Someone’s background does not determine their value as a person or in the sight of God.
We see first hand in this book the prejudices that haunt the world of Harry, Ron and Hermione. It starts with Doby the House-Elf who is viewed by most of the “ Wizarding World” as being at best a second class citizen and at worst a slave. It spreads from there to Draco Malloy and his friends who believe that they are better others because of their “pure-blood” status. God does not see people based on their backgrounds, but instead he sees them based on their faith and believe in. If you want to see a perfect example of this read Acts 10 (which tells the story of Peter and Cornelius).
3. Don’t underestimate anyone based on size or appearance.
Just as a person’s background shouldn’t be used to determine their value neither should size or appearance. When Harry faced Tom Riddle (Voldemort) in the Chamber of Secrets he (Harry) receives help from two unexpected sources: Fawkes and the sorting hat. Both don’t appear to be much in our eyes, but remember it is not the size and appearance that determines value it is what we can not see (what is in the heart) that determines value.
We see two examples of this in the book of 1 Samuel. In 1 Samuel 16 we see the story of Samuel being sent to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel. Samuel wants to anoint the one who looks like a king but God tells him not to because Samuel has made his decision based on outward appearances, but God dos not choose his representatives based on outward appearances he chooses his representatives based on what is in a person’s heart. The second story is David versus Goliath (1 Samuel 17). We all know this story. David is not expected to defeat Goliath because of his size, but he does. Proving once again that we should never underestimate anyone based on size or appearance.
4. Actions do not always equal intentions.
In the Sorcerer’s Stone we are briefly introduced to Ginny Weasley. In the Chamber of Secrets we get to know her a little better. We find out that she has a crush on Harry, that her brothers are constantly picking on her and that she has a deep need to confide in someone. Voldemort/Tom Riddle possess Ginny because she has opened her soul up to him through a “magical” diary. It is Ginny who has been opening the Chamber of Secrets and unleashing a monstrous serpent on Hogwarts. However, Ginny has no idea that she is even doing this until it is too late. Ginny did not freely choose to help evil. Instead she was a unwitting pawn of evil because of her innocence. Too often we judge people based on their actions alone and never actually try and discover the heart of the person. God does see our actions, but he also sees our hearts (our intentions) and he judges us based our intentions. Just as Ginny was not expelled and further humiliated, God chooses to judge us not based on our actions, but on what we believe in our hearts. We are to be kind, empathic, and forgiving to people, as many people do not truly want to hurt anyone-sometimes they just genuinely don’t know what they’re doing.
5. Be wary of who you open yourself up to.
Ginny’s trouble started because she opened her would open to the wrong entity. She thought she had found a friend who cared for her and liked her. This is exactly like how the devil operates. He will tell you all kinds of lies to get you to turn your back on God and the truths that he has taught you. 1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings”(NIV). If we stay alert to the devil and his schemes, and stand firm in our faith, then the devil will flee from us. Why? Because the devil like a lion only goes after the weak ones. The ones who are the most vulnerable to his lies, traps and snares.
6. We all have choices.
Every character in this book had choices. Harry had to choice to continue to walk in faith despite almost every student at Hogwarts believing he was the cause of all the attacks. Ron had to choose to walk into the Forbidden Forest while following the spiders (his biggest fear) in order to save Hermione. Draco and his friends had to choose to believe the lies their parents taught them.
As Joshua was preparing to to die he issued a challenge to the people of Israel. He told them, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15 NIV). That is the choice you have today. It is the same choice that every character in the Chamber of Secrets has to make. Dumbledore tells Harry this at the end of the book in answer to Harry’s questions, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”. Let your choices be the right ones, so that you can stand with Joshua and say as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.