Righteousness, Bruce Willis, & The Gospel

What can Bruce Willis teach us about righteousness?

I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6-19:20-23

Acts of Violence

The movie plot begins with big brothers stomping on some punks who are bullying their younger sister. Fast forward a few scenes, an older but ripped and still bald, Bruce Willis knocks through a few villains like a 12 pound bowling ball.

The main story revolves around young couple before their wedding day. They set out in different directions to indulge in one night of fantasy before saying their nuptial vows. The movie unfolds into their worst nightmare. There’s chaos, they do whatever they feel like doing, nearly destroying what they planned to build. However, after a few heart pounding scenes the good outweighs the bad, and the relationship is ultimately restored. 

But I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if they had chosen the way of righteousness over their own carnal desires? 

Righteousness or lawlessness?

We see this theme over and over in family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, pastors, celebrities, and politicians. There are diaries, blog posts, country songs and rock ballads written about the if only‘s, the I’m sorry’s, and the should’ve done it differently stories.

There are doctors notes, eulogies, bank accounts, and empty whiskey bottles that all echo something similar; loneliness, hurt, and an inciting choice that led to the overwhelming pain. 

Paul writes about it in more generic terms in Romans 6. He says that we are slaves to lawlessness which only leads to more lawlessness. You can replace lawlessness with any sin in the book. Anxiety leads to more anxiety. Drunkenness to more drunkenness. Gluttony to more gluttony. Lying to more lies, etc… But we have a choice.

We have a choice to make

We can choose to understand our calling as slaves to Christ. More simply put, we can yield to Christ as our Master, our Lord. When we respond to Christ’s commands, it only produces good Fruit. We, in the end, represent Christ more fully instead of representing a life without Christ which only leads to death. This is what it means to walk in righteousness.

Eventually the movie ends when the brothers and fiancée prepare to sacrifice their lives to save the woman that they love. The relationship/family is restored, but you can imagine the wake of destruction left behind by their night of fantasy. The story could’ve gone so much differently. 

That story is the story of every human. We choose to do our own thing, go our own way, not realizing that we are walking a tightrope that eventually breaks. Because of his overwhelming love for us, Jesus suffered so that we might be restored to our purpose, to love Him and others. This is the Gospel message!

Your life story starts with a question, response, and decision. Do I serve my desires or emotions or do I serve Jesus? That’s it. That’s the story. You know the ending.

Adam McCall

Adam McCall, M.D., is a board-certified family practitioner with additional training and hospital privileges in obstetrics. He is affiliated with Northwest Medical Plaza - Eastside. He has been married since 2010 and has three kids.

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