Driven by love for his family and faced with seemingly insurmountable financial burdens, the lead character and mild-mannered father, Walt, in the Emmy Award-winning television show Breaking Bad, decides to use his chemistry knowledge to make “fat stacks” of quick cash by “cooking” meth—an addictive, destructive and dangerous street drug.
Walt breaks bad, and despite attempts to keep his new business under wraps, the inevitable lies, deception and lawlessness catch up with him, ironically damaging the one thing he valued the most—his family relationships. The show’s popularity has captured tons of viewers, both Christians and non-Christians alike, helping make “binge watching” a new term for watching several episodes at a time.
At Every Man Ministries, we’ve caught the show’s bug too, and we think there’s more to learn from it than just how to get caught up in the drug trade.
Here’s the key point: God’s in the “breaking bad” business.
But God’s goal is for us to see how breaking good beats breaking bad. He’d rather set us free from sin, pushing liberty instead of peddling sin—especially when the stakes are high.
We men are a lot like Walt. Walt’s motives were good. But his means were bad. We want to provide and protect our family and loved ones. Often it takes a traumatic event to accelerate achieving the means to an end. So we may turn to cheating, backstabbing a competitor, swindling a deal, or telling little “white” lies to get ahead fast.
It took a wake-up call diagnosis of cancer for Walt to eventually break bad. His pride prevented him from receiving financial help from his family and business colleagues. So he broke bad thinking it was for the good.
Contrary to what you may think, breaking good is not a milquetoast proposition. Jesus is all about risk and reward.
He wants us to bet it all on him.
- “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35).
He wants us to trust him in troubling times.
- “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Phil. 4:6).
Here are the differences between breaking bad and breaking good that can share the same motive:
Breaking Good Breaking Bad
Choose God Choose sin
Trust God Trust yourself
Follow Jesus Follow others
Tell the truth Lie to get ahead
Live transparently Hide a secret life
Use talents wisely Use talents foolishly
Be accountable Avoid accountability
Go to church Go to the bar
Judas Iscariot broke bad. Even though he tasted what it was like to walk with Jesus, when the chips were down, he chose greed instead of Jesus. Judas left a part of himself open to sin, and like a dormant virus on your hard drive, the enemy exploited it when he was vulnerable.
Don’t be like Judas. Be like Jesus and break good. It’s better in the short—and long—run and much more fulfilling.
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Cor. 5:17).
- “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries, men’s pastor at Saddleback Church, and ChristianMingle advisory board member, provides biblically oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God’s men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries now on Facebook, Twitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.
For the original article, visit everymanministries.com.