I was at the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) today. I realized spending 10 minutes in that place is a gold mine for ideas to blog about or for sermon illustrations. As I was waiting (which you do a lot of at the BMV), there was an old man (he was at least 75) who was taking his eye test in order to update his license. He was failing miserably. It was actually quite sad. The person monitoring the test was trying so hard to help this man. “Read the last line on the right…no, the last column on the right…no, that is not it….do you see the lights on the sides…what about now…do you still not see them…what about the 4th row on the left?” The guy just could not do it. I wanted to stand up and say, “He is not able to pass. He should not drive.” But you could see it, the person running the test did not want to say “no.” The person did not want to be the bad guy. So the person faked it and allowed the old guy to pass. And if I am honest, I think the person put the old guy and others on the road at risk.” It is hard it as it is sometimes, you have to be willing to be the hard guy.
Some thoughts about being the bad guy:
- Parents need to be the bad guys more often than they we are often willing.
- Coach, principal, and pastor types need to be willing to confront and hold accountable even when it is hard.
- We often cripple people by not willing to be the bad guy, even though we think we are helping them.
- Accountability and responsibility have become bad words in our culture.
- It is possible to be the bad guy and be a good person with a good spirit.
- The need to be the bad guy is often more easily recognizable by outsiders than those of us invested emotionally in the situation.