Can you wrap your arms, and also your mind, around the figure of $1,995,000? Written out like you would on a check, that is one million, nine hundred ninety five thousand and 00/100 dollars. This was the amount of the initial asking price for Coach Bobby Petrino’s six-bedroom, seven-and-a-half bath, 8,741-square-foot house in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after he had been fired as coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Now, based on when you read this, it may be old news, but what I am going to say from the point forward may surprise you. If you are not a sports fan you won’t feel as passionate about this as those of us who are. However, the real principle involved works just the same, regardless of what area of life you apply it.
I have never been one to kick someone else when they are down. Coach Petrino has enough problems already dealing with the bad choices he has made, but the saddest thing of all, at least for me, is the lives of others he has affected, and the list is long. I don’t wish to rehash them here. We all make bad choices to one degree or another, but in most cases they don’t make the national or international news.
If you want other examples just talk with Coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, who tried to cover up bounty money for his players to hurt some on opposing teams; or Tiger Woods and his sexual problems; or former presidential candidate John Edwards, who went from a $500 haircut to one that cost $12.95; or the Secret Service agents involved in a sex scandal who resigned or were fired. In the case of Tiger Woods he may come back, but he will always live with the bad choices he has made.
In each case, when we hear of people’s lives being disrupted because of bad choices, the question that always comes to mind is why? Why would someone throw a whole lifetime of making good choices away for a few destructive choices that would change their lives forever? This is the area where I believe we can spend some productive time by examining the reasons why in the hopes that it will help others avoid the same fate.
First, let’s realize that each of us is different. We bring our values to the table based on a great number of factors: parents, teachers, pastors, the media, role models and others who influence us all along the road of life. On balance, if most of these influences have been positive, our chances are good that we will become a well-adjusted and responsible person. Let’s understand right here that a person can develop a great skill and talent and have bad or poor character and still fail as a human being.
This last point holds the key as to why some people make bad choices. They succeeded in some areas but failed in others. Sometimes fame causes a person to lose touch with reality, as they don’t think the rules apply to them. This is crucial when they learned what is truly right from wrong. Here I am going to make a statement that you may not agree with. I believe the Holy Bible contains the road map to success because it is the basis for truth and for understanding what is right and what is wrong. This is quite possibly where some of the people in my earlier example may have gone wrong. They never studied or don’t really know the Bible.
While I have made a lot of bad choices in my life, about 26 years ago I made the decision to read the Bible all the way through each year. I did this for 25 straight years. Now, every decision or choice I make has a filter it must pass through. I know what is right and what is wrong, according to the Word of God. Regardless of our station in life, skin color, status, or fame, BAD CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit www.bookcaseforeverychild.com. You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)