When Bad Behavior Goes on Trial


There are bad cops. There are also bad judges, bad ministers, bad lawyers, bad doctors, and bad politicians. As they say, “no one’s perfect.” All have sinned and fallen short of God’s expectations. Yet, when bad professionals who have authority in our society go bad, we all suffer.

A surgeon who makes a mistake can either bury or immobilize that patient for life. A bad lawyer who doesn’t do the due diligence of defending a client can send an innocent person to jail. A bad minister can rape and pillage a congregation in the name of God, and lastly, a bad politician can make bad decisions in passing laws that put all of us in bondage. But, when a law officer makes a bad decision it goes to trial … and rightfully so. Such was the case of Derek Chauvin from Minneapolis.

Chauvin was a 19-year police officer veteran, but even with all that experience ended up killing a suspect under his authority. No matter where you fall on the scale of justice, the jury decided his fate … guilty. His guilt is his own and no one else’s … not even the system can be blamed for those decisions. I thought early on that the defense, in this case, would make a bigger deal of his training, and the pervasive thought of law enforcement using tactics that could prove harmful for suspects being detained. But in the end, the decision to convict was clear … Chauvin was a bad officer making bad decisions that cost a man his life.

Okay, now putting all that aside, let’s talk about society for a few minutes. As you know, one of my favorite sayings is, “culture is no friend to you or your family.” Culture teaches us through our movies, our music, and our cultural icons ‘it’s okay to do what you do,’ because it’s you being you. That is like saying, “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die.” It’s never okay to do whatever we think is okay to do. Why? Because what you do often affects, influences, and encourages others to do the same. Everyone is an influence to someone, and if that influence gives them license to do whatever they feel like doing … it may end up costing them their lives both in this life and in the life to come. There is a cost to everything we do.

The rich: the cost of owning, possessing, and acquiring can destroy character and instill a heart of greed

The poor: the cost of not having opportunity, the lack of possessing the skills to move forward.

The powerful: the cost of keeping power, the pressure of decisions, and decrees that may change a person’s perspective and character

The change agent: the cost of inequality and injustice is a never-ending cycle of human depravity playing the major roles in society

The educator: the cost of keeping a balance between what is true, what is speculation, and what drives the narrative of education

The moralist: the cost of knowing that moral darkness is pervasive and growing every year, and nothing can stop it

The minister: the cost of telling people that God is real and finding new ways to get that message into the mainstream can be overwhelmingly exhausting

The family: the cost of time, busyness, and distractions are all too common reasons that can keep the family at bay from each other

As you can see, there is a cost to all of us regardless of what role we play in society. The cost of living our lives, earning a living, protecting our families, providing leadership, and engaging with others … all cost us something.

The greatest cost to any of us is the cost we pay for ignoring God. This is the cost none of us can afford. It is this cost that gives us bad behavior and the reason for all the trials we see happening in the land. No matter who you are or what you believe, this world still belongs to God. Evil may be renting space here for the moment, but the landlord has a plan for eviction someday. All bad behavior is a decision based upon what we believe. If we believe we have been cheated, we will cheat. If we believe we have been mistreated, we will mistreat. If we believe we have no responsibility for what is happening in the world, we will continue to live within the privileges provided but continue to add nothing to it.

It is easy to pass judgment on the George Floyd case and have opinions on either side of the issue. But it comes down to what God thinks, and we often fail to ask His opinion. Isn’t that the essence of life? To ask the landlord of all of life, what He thinks? What He thinks is what is important because it is perfect thinking. How can you argue with that? What would Jesus think?

Luke 13 4And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.

You see, we are all on trial with God. What is His verdict in your case? In my case? We are all guilty and condemned. This is the ‘why’ behind why Jesus coming to defend us against this charge … so we could find forgiveness and healing. The cost to Him? It was His death on the Cross, the price He paid for the freedom from the penalty of sin which the sentence is death.

As tragic as the George Floyd case is, the ramifications for both families moving forward will be how they remedy their pain in Christ. God knows the mistakes and the decisions made in this case, and He wants all parties directly or indirectly to come to Him and He will give them rest.

Matthew 11 28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler