Unlike most of my friends, I did not rabidly watch every episode of “Breaking Bad” as soon as it aired. Only recently have I started making my way through the series, and I’m currently about halfway through season two (if you want to know, Walt just got his good diagnosis). Now, let me just say up front that this post is neither an endorsement of or condemnation of the show. If you watch the show or abstain from watching, that’s between you and the Lord. There is certainly some objectionable content in the show, given the fact that most of the show centers around meth.
One of the things that makes the show so brilliant, is how perfectly it captures a man’s slow descent into absolute destruction. As the show progresses, Walter White makes a series of small choices which have exponential consequences. One lie leads to another, bigger lie. One act of intimidation leads to another, bigger act of intimidation. A small act of violence leads to a much bigger act of violence. Almost every show contains a perfect, poignant moment, in which Walt is perched on the edge of decision. He can choose good or he can choose evil, and as time goes on he increasingly chooses evil.
As I watch the show, I can’t help but be reminded of Galatians 6:7-8, which says:
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
I’ve been in various positions of church leadership for many years, and during those years, I’ve seen a lot of fantastic things. Kids saved. Marriages restored. Sinners rescued. There’s nothing better than seeing the power of God transform a life!
But I’ve also seen a lot of really terrible things. Marriages destroyed. Faith abandoned. Friendships destroyed.
In almost every case of a Christian committing massive sin, it didn’t start big. Big sin never starts big. The guy who cheated on his wife didn’t wake up one day and suddenly decide to commit adultery. It wasn’t like he woke up and said to himself, “Today is a good day for some wickedness.” Rather, it started with small, seemingly “innocent” compromises. Sitting together with the woman while eating lunch. Having extended conversations with the woman. A few semi-flirtatious emails. Beginning to text message the woman outside of work hours. Small acts of sowing to the flesh which, when added together, result in massive corruption.
The woman who ended up rejecting the church and walking away from Jesus, didn’t suddenly decide to go apostate. Rather, her apostasy was the result of a hundred small choices. Slowly abandoning the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading and prayer. Gradually neglecting to fellowship with other Christians. Experimenting with pornography. Again, small acts of sowing to the flesh which then snowball into massive corruption.
I’m not writing this as some sort of scare tactic, like that show “Scared Straight”. Rather, I’m writing this as a sober reminder to myself and you. By the empowering of the Holy Spirit, who gives me all that I need to overcome temptation, I want to take sin very seriously. I want to flee big sins and little ones. I want to take evil seriously. I want to heed the warning of Hebrews 3:12-13, which says:
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.