Split within ourselves or all in with Jesus
Have you watched a movie call “Split”? If you have not, I would highly suggest you to watch it, but don’t watch it without other people.
Split is a movie came out in the end of year of 2016, the movie itself is a psychological horror thriller film, and it is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, he also written and directed another horror-thriller film call “The Sixth Sense”. In the “Split” movie, Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 23 different personalities, abducts three teenage girls in his basement for unknown reason. As Kevin’s therapist deles deeper into his mysterious disorder, the girls must find ways to escape before the last and sinister 24th personality reveals itself.
Through out the movie, protagonist Kevin has been always change his personality within one day. The direct use change outfit as metaphor to tell us that Kevin is consistently changing his identities throughout the day. Of course, after movie release there were many criticism towards the concept of the movie. Yet, the reason for me to use “Split” as an example not because I want to publicize the movie or critic how M. Night Shyamalan miss understand or misrepresentation identity disorder. More then that, I want to use the concept from the movie to challenge us to think about the status and role issues we have among us. And also I want to use the concept from the movie to challenge us as Christian to think about who we really are, and what we really pursuing for our life.
Do you think as infant, they have status? The answer is yes, as soon as we came out from our mother’s womb we immediately owned our very first status and role. Since, our parents started calling us son or daughter, and they decided give us our very own name. From the moment to now on, we have been place into the family. Yet, since then we had first role for ourselves, as our parents’ child, we need to obey them and respect them. It is interesting that, elements of birth also determine our future status in the society. Russell Heddendorf said “The most basic ascribed statuses assigned at birth are age, sex, and race. The biological qualities of these statues define the minimal responsibilities expected by society” (Christian Perspectives on Sociology P.93) It is struggling for us to think about our identity would relate with our birth, race and sex. I think this is unfortunate news for us, and for our society.
When time goes on, our status and role would change, and also the attributes of status and attributes of role would automatically change too. Russell Heddendorf claims “Statuses and Roles do not just link people with their society; they also locate them within a total fabric of interacting persons, all whom share some common purpose.” Needless to say, when time goes by, we are not belonging to ourselves anymore, we will gradually realize that we have slowly adopt our culture and slowly add more statuses and roles on ourselves. Mr. Heddendorf said “Social positions such as student, salesman, parent, soldier, and girl friend are typical examples of statuses. Once have acquired a status, an individual learns a whole series of norms that apply to him or her in that status” (Christian Perspectives on Sociology P. 91) Sometime we can not even recognized inside of us already split within us.
Sometimes status and role also cause many problems, like change in status expectations, status and role imbalance, role as an end, and role conflict and role strain. These issues are highly related with both status and role. Some of them directly and indirectly caused by role and status change within our normal life. Many people in our society want to change their current status, they will try their best to change their status. And that directly caused status and role imbalance. Examples are countless, conflict between work between family, conflict between genders, conflict between income and job, conflict between job and knowledge. And these countless example makes me think about movie “Split”. We have so many status and role within us, and sometimes it is so hard to focus on one thing.
But as Christian, what is our ultimately status and role within us? It is interesting and terrify to see and observe the way we act in different situation. The way we believe and the way we act are different when we were in different situation. For instance, when we were in the church during Sunday morning, many of us acting like humble believers, and we talk about Jesus, God and Gospel with other believers. Even more, we were boldly share our testimony with other people in the church, even with some non-believers who came to visit church. But when Sunday service finished, we would have different action and behavior as soon as we get back into our secular world community and hanging out with our non-believer friends from secular world. The challenge and change is realistic and obvious. Ultimately, we don’t want our friends from secular community to categorize us into certain category. We want to find common ground with them, so we can live in “normal” life style. We want to act like them, and this behavior become to camouflage for us as Christian try to survive in the secular world.
This is such lamentable for us, for our faith. The lamentation is not from the status and role we owned, it is from ourselves. It is not easy to be a follower of Christ, in Matthew 16:24–26 says “Then Jesus told his disciples, “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Think about who does Jesus has been teach us in the Bible and related with our normal life. Are we really obey Jesus’s teaching? To decide to follow Jesus is not a easy thing, many people fail in the middle of the process, just like the rich young man who couldn’t give up everything he has to follow Jesus. Needless to say, follow Christ it is already hard. But to all in with Christ it is even harder for us. Can we able to abandon everything we have to fully follow Christ? We must remember that everything we have is belong to the physical world. Yet, we unable to bring everything to the eternal world. When we in the eternal world, all the status, all the role we have is meaningless.
“BibleGateway.” English Standard Version (ESV) — Version Information — BibleGateway.com, www.biblegateway.com/versions/English-Standard-Version-ESV-Bible/. Accessed 1 May 2017.
Grunlan, Stephen A., and Milton Reimer. Christian Perspectives on Sociology. Grand Rapids, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001.