After writing yesterday’s post, I felt like for my integrity’s sake, I must be honest and share a story with you where I purposely used my minister position for personal gain. This thought was only validated after my good friend Linda’s comment about policemen.
Heather and I had only been living in Sulphur Springs a few months (so at least I was still a rookie minister). That night we had just gotten finished working out at our gym and were headed back to the house. Leaving the gym, which was located off one of the one-way access roads that runs parallel to I-30, I decided to drive maybe 30 feet the wrong direction on the access road. I simply did not want to drive the extra miles all the way around the one-way access roads.
Sure enough, my second criminal drive resulted in blue lights in my rearview mirror.
As the policeman approached my car, I decided that my strategy was to be as honest as possible.
After asking for my license and vehicle registration, the policeman asked me if I knew why I had been pulled over (I still had my Tennessee license and registration, meaning I could play the “I didn’t know any better” card). I honestly replied, “Yes, sir. I went the wrong way on this one way road because I honestly did not want to drive all the way around.”
Then I threw in one more sentence that changed the face of the whole cop-encounter, “I should have known better being a minister and all.”
Everything changed after that sentence. He asked me what church I worked at and how long I had been living in Sulphur Springs. I could tell that the policeman was not an active church-goer but still had a healthy respect/fear of God. It was almost like the policeman did not want to tick off God by giving a minister a ticket or he did not want me to use my “minister-powers” to bring down curses on him and his household Old Testament style.
Needless to say, I got away with a verbal warning after being brutally honest about my guilt. I cheaply used my minister position to get out of a ticket. I will hang my head in shame (just know that I will have a sheepishly-boyish grin on my face while I hang my head in shame).
Honesty is the best policy…