Trevor J. Robinson, owner of an opioid addiction clinic in Kansas, was recently indicted for possession of drugs with the intent to sell after police found 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine and fifteen oxycodone pills along with cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and ecstasy in his car following a routine traffic stop.
They also found large amounts of cash, a digital scale, and marijuana.
While the case is still ongoing, the story has understandably made headlines in the days since his indictment.
Normally, the arrest of a suspected drug dealer would be cause for rejoicing in local circles, but these cases seldom make it to the national stage.
What makes this story different is the fact that this drug dealer’s day job was helping people break their addiction to the same stuff he was peddling.
And while I would hope none of us are contemplating becoming drug dealers anytime soon, there’s an important lesson for us to consider in the way this story of an otherwise mundane arrest has gained national notoriety.
How to make redeemable mistakes
When the life we claim to lead is exposed as a lie, people are going to judge us far more harshly.
And, as Christians charged with living each day as Paul did—”proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31)—when we act, speak, or post in a way that contradicts the gospel we preach, we should expect to be judged more harshly than most.
It may not seem fair, and in some ways it’s not, but the alternative is to be so thoroughly discounted by our culture that our failings simply meet rather than contradict their expectations.
God forbid we ever reach that point.
So the next time someone points out your mistakes and holds you to a different standard than others because you’re a Christian, don’t get defensive or respond by pointing out how you’re far from the only one to have done the same thing.
Rather, embrace this fact: they know enough about your faith to expect more of you.
Then use that moment to own your errors and show them why they were right to have higher expectations in the first place.
This side of heaven, we will never live up to the standards of perfection to which we are called.
But when we respond to our mistakes with humility and welcome accountability, God can redeem even our shortcomings to bring others to himself.
How redeemable will your next mistake be?