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 catches 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 about this show 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 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 will turn to cheating, backstabbing a competitor, swindling a deal or making 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.
We all have the same decision, and hopefully it doesn’t take a traumatic event to choose between engaging in sin or a relationship with Jesus.
Contrary to what you may think, breaking good is not a milk-toast 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.” — Philippians 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 it was vulnerable.
Don’t be like Judas. Be like Jesus and break good. It’s better in the short, and long run, and more fulfilling.
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” — 2 Corinthians 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.” — Galatians 2:20
Want to see more from Pastor Kenny Luck? Check out his recent article Delivering On Your D-R-E-A-M.
Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. His 20th book – SLEEPING GIANT: No Movement of God without Men of God – is the proven blueprint for men’s ministries, and was recently released through Broadman & Holman Books. To learn more about Pastor Kenny Luck visit EveryManMinistries.com.