02
May
09

Seven sad pounds

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We just saw Will Smith’s latest movie, Seven Pounds, on DVD and let me just say right of the bat that the movie was a very depressing experience. Will Smith plays a character who was messing with his cell phone, and ended up being responsible for a car crash where six strangers and his fiancée died. Devastated and hopeless he sets out on a mission to help seven other people to make up for his mistake. He ends up giving his things and at the end even his body parts away to various struggling people, and at the end he commits suicide in a bathtub filled with ice to make sure that his blood and intestines can still be used to help other people. It’s a sad and depressing movie, and even though you could imagine that I would applaud the biblical idea of laying down your life for your friends, this is a movie that is filled with the hopelessness and messed up view of sacrificial love that is in a world where the God of forgiveness and hope is largely ignored.

Will Smith’s character tries to help people out of feelings of self-hatred and out of an understanding that the mistake he made, when he felt he was responsible for the death of seven people is unforgivable. There is no hope of forgiveness, redemption or new life for him, so he might as well do something nice for suffering people before he kills himself to take himself out of his misery.

That’s a life and a world view where the God of forgiveness, redemption, restoration and second chances is taken out of play. How sad that people see this movie and think to themselves that this is all there is to life….if you have screwed up big time, then you’ll for sure be haunted by that the rest of your life, and either you can try to forget about it, sedate the pain in you and close down your heart, or you can try to escape through sacrificing yourself for other people and then killing yourself in the end as if killing yourself would be justified by the good you did do for suffering people. 

I am grateful that I know the God of forgiveness and redemption. I am glad that no sin is too great to be forgiven by God. No matter what you’ve done, no matter how you may feel about yourself and how much you feel you deserve punishment, God is running towards you when you turn to him and ask him for forgiveness. You don’t have to take your own life or live in a prison of self-hatred when you’ve messed up. Cry out to God. He will forgive you, cleanse you, remind you that errare humanum est (it’s normal for human beings to make mistakes) and help you to be able to live with yourself and still be able to enjoy the life he has given to you.

As a sharp contrast to the hopeless message of Seven Pounds, I encourage you to get a hold of David Cunningham’s masterpiece To End All Wars starring Kiefer Sutherland (Jack Bauer!). It’s an incredible, yet true story from a Japanese World War II camp of hope, love, redemption and real, genuine, love-motivated self-sacrifice.

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And here is the beautiful song by Third Day called Cry Out To Jesus that talks about the true hope that is available for all of us in Jesus Christ:

Blessings, Torben

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