“I Had To Come To Prison To Be A Crook!” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

In the movie, “The Shawshank Redemption”, the main character, Andy Dufrense, played by Tony Robbins, makes a startling revelation to his friend Red, played by Morgan Freeman. Andy, a former banker, was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. He was recounting all of the steps he had taken to launder the money the warden of the prison had illegally made through bribes and kickbacks from various contractors. “The funny thing is, on the outside, I was an honest man. Straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.”


Funny thing, isn’t it? Our sensibilities inform us that a prison is a place of rehabilitation, yet in this environment, Dufrense was coerced to learn illegal activities. This isn’t the first time an environment has introduced one to shady and clandestine activities.


Medicine is sometimes referred to as a noble profession and it is certainly one of the reasons I chose to become a physician. When I began, I was not naive to potential abuses, but through the years I witnessed many examples of questionable and egregiously bad behavior. Colleagues have been imprisoned for sexual harassment, substance abuse, workplace bullying, billing fraud, and even weaponizing patient care by holding another vendor or physician hostage until their selfish demands were met. Even in medicine, this noblest of professions, a putrid stench may be emitted from its hallowed ivory towers.


But every profession, not only medicine, emits its own unique rotting scents. The media is replete with stories of corruption and crimes convincingly documenting that every occupation contains a minefield of opportunities to bend or skirt the law. What can be done to remedy this situation?


Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)


We may enter into any activity or occupation with the best of intentions, committed to a high moral standard, but the company we keep has a very powerful influence upon our behavior. There are numerous examples in my life. I have more frequently used profanity when those around me were doing the same. I joined the gossip about a colleague because it was a frequent topic of conversation. The examples are as numerous as the relationships I have. With time, I even convinced myself that my bad morals were actually good and acceptable since everyone else was doing it. Instead of following others, I became the instigator.


“I had to come to prison to be a crook.”


I had to come to Jesus to realize I am a sinner and I desperately needed a Savior. Thanks be to God that He saved me when I was completely undeserving of His grace and mercy.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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