A few weeks ago I watched “The Dilemma” on a cross-country flight. I don’t want to say too much about the movie, so here’s a synopsis from the official website:
“Vince Vaughn and Kevin James headline an all-star comedy from director Ron Howard. Ronny’s (Vaughn) world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees something he should not have, and makes it his mission to get answers. As the amateur investigation dissolves his world into comic mayhem, he learns that his best friend Nick (James) has a few secrets of his own. Now, Ronny must decide what will happen if he reveals the truth.”
The Dilemma is not a spiritual movie per se, but it has a lot of moral overtones (and undercurrents). Ronny is put in the unenviable position of having to decide whether he should do the right thing – even though he knows it will hurt his best friend, Nick. As the movie unfolds, Ronny’s life starts to unravel in ways that are at once painful and hilarious.
One characteristic of all good movies is the power to evoke empathy in the viewer. Ronny handled his situation differently than I would have if I were in his shoes. But I found myself drawn to his character as he sought to act rightly in a series of difficult circumstances.
Another truth that The Dilemma highlights is that relationships (especially friendships and marriages) are extremely complex. And the more complex relationships are, the greater the need for relational integrity.
Like Ronny, I want “doing the right thing” to be my first response. I want to be transparent in all my relationships (Ronny tripped all over himself in this area). Most of all, I want to do this for Jesus’ sake, who demonstrated in his Incarnation, life, and death, that doing the right thing is sometimes the hardest of all possible options.
Have you every found yourself in a situation where you struggled to know if you should “do the right thing”?
What movies have you seen recently that have challenged you to make different choices?
Chuck Conniry is Vice President and Dean of George Fox Evangelical Seminary, a graduate school of George Fox University, in Newberg, Oregon. Chuck holds several degrees, including the PhD in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and MDiv from Bethel Seminary, San Diego. He is married to Dianne and together they have three children and one daughter-in-law: Krystal, Matthew (and his wife, Ashley), and Nathan. Chuck loves to write, swim, and ride his Harley. He and his family reside in Sherwood, Oregon.