Alert: Do not read if you have not seen Toy Story 4 and care about spoilers.

What do you call your inner voice? Before my conversion, I called it my conscience. Now I call it the Holy Spirit or just God. What we call it doesn’t matter. That we listen to it does. I was thrilled to see so much time devoted to the inner voice in Toy Story 4. Just the thought that a very popular secular film would mention the inner voice gives me hope. I see God working in lots of non-religious art, and this is one example.

Buzz Lightyear’s inner voice is part of his construction. He has a bank of buttons on his chest, and when he pushes one, his voice speaks. What the voice can say is limited, but it is always open to interpretation for the situation at hand. I liken Buzz’s voice to scripture. It is limited to a few standard responses because it is frozen as made. When we consult a scripture, it says what it has always said. However, each time we read it we get a fresh message that can apply to our current need. Scripture is the voice of God, living in the book and interpreted by us.

Woody’s inner voice is his conscience. We see his conflict as he struggles with understanding loyalty and love. Most of us struggle to hear our inner voice, or if we hear it we struggle with the message we get. Often the voice asks us to do something outside our comfort zone. We hear the message, but we resist it. Comfort zones are so hard to let go of. Woody’s comfortable understanding of his purpose, loyalty to Bonnie, conflicts with his inner voice, telling him to love more widely. With the help of the voice, echoed in Bo, Gabby Gabby, and Buzz, Woody releases his old comfort zone (which has been getting more and more painful) and jumps into new scenes, new life, and new love. He answers the call of the inner voice that dwells inside him.

My hope is that secular society will listen to the inner voice and act upon its call. Labeling it the voice of God doesn’t matter to me. I believe the voice has one message: Love more generously. If everyone heard that message and acted on it, the world would change. Can you hear your inner voice? What is it saying?

Thanks for reading this short series on Toy Story 4. Next week I will return to blogs from A Doubter’s Devotional 2.

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