I just went to see the movie, “Seven Pounds” starring Will Smith. Lots of people were blogging and twittering about it, so I decided it would be a good one to see.
I went with my daughter and her friend. I think we were all impressed with the quality of the film – from the cinematography to the pacing. But I wasn’t thrilled with the message being offered to moviegoers. Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, and Woody Harrelson all make the acting look effortless. Maybe that’s the appeal of the movie. Or maybe it’s the pull on the audience’s heartstrings – I mean, don’t we all want to do something wonderful to change the world?
As I glanced around the quiet, sniffling theatre, I could imagine even terrorists would yearn to do something this magnanimous.
***** Spoiler Alert *******
(If you don’t want the plot spoiled for you, please read no further).
There is a debate over the Internet about whether “seven pounds” refers to the weight of Will Smith’s human organs, or just his heart. Regardless, the movie title suggests that “something” weighing only seven pounds is going to be an extraordinary “something.”
As a Christian, the movie left me deeply unsettled. Not because of the intense self-sacrifice of Will Smith’s character, or those blessed by the organs he left behind. The movie left me unsettled because the message is the exact opposite of the Gospel:
The Gospel says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And that if we’ve fallen at even one point, we are held guilty for all. The gospel says the wage for sin is death. The gospel says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The gospel says that Christ was an acceptable offering for our sin. The gospel says that Jesus Christ clothes those, who accept his free gift, in righteousness and that their sins are buried as far as the east is from the west.
(Romans 3:22-24, James 2:10, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Hebrews 10:11-14, Philippians 3: 8-9, Psalm 103:8).
This movie seems to glorify a man who made a mistake (looking down at his cell phone while driving down the road and killing seven people). It glorifies a man who negates his mistake by the gift he is willing to give. The movie depicts a man who is justified in the end because he makes it all better by committing suicide.
The movie insinuates Will Smith is a “good” person who is willing to save other “good” people.
In the Bible, the number seven is significant. It symbolizes perfection or completion (in the book of Genesis the world is made in seven days, in the book of Revelation there are seven churches, seven spirits, seven stars, seven trumpets, etc). I could go on, but maybe you understand why the movie left me disconcerted. Mankind brings nothing to the table in which to justify himself. Not even seven pounds of organs.
Only Christ, the perfect Son of God, is able to make our lives meaningful.
Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty teacher at Colorado Christian University.
She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."