Professor Ian Duncan: “So, what is my lawyer doing here?”
Jeff Winger: “I’m a student.”
Ian: “Well. That cannot be an inspiring journey.”
Jeff Winger is a hot shot lawyer who has mastered the art of taking the easy way out. He was somehow able to become a practicing lawyer without a legitimate degree. When this was found out, he decided to go to Community college to try and get one as quickly and as easily as possible.
To accomplish this, he goes to see Professor Ian Duncan, a man Jeff once won a DUI case for, unscrupulously. Now, Jeff was the one wanting help, in the same vein. He asked Ian for every answer to every test from every class he’s taking this semester.
Ian begrudgingly agrees. Later, he has second thoughts.
Ian: “I’m asking if you know the difference between right and wrong?”
Jeff: “I discovered at an early age that if I talk long enough, I can make ANYTHING right or wrong. So either I’m God, or truth is relative. And in either case, booyah.”
Ian: “Oh, interesting. It’s just the average person has a much harder time saying ‘Booyah’ to moral relativism.”
Out of anger and frustration, Ian eventually agrees to get Jeff the answers he seeks. Later, he hands him a package stuffed with papers. Jeff then returns to his newly formed Spanish study group, which got put together because he was trying to hit it off with “the hot blonde from Spanish class.”
Apparently, things have gotten out of hand and everyone is fighting with each other. Jeff uses his knack for public speaking to bring peace to the group, and in the middle of the speech, says something that shows us a little bit of where his soul is.
Jeff: “People can find the good in just about anything but themselves.”
When Jeff finally opens the package Ian gave him, it is just a bunch of blank pieces of paper, except for the last page, which simply reads, “Booyah.”
Ian: “Jeffery, before you say anything, you may want to think about the gift you’ve been given… The tools you acquired to survive out there will not help you here at Greendale. What you have, my friend, is a second chance at an honest life.”
Jeff is broken down, realizing that he can’t take the easy road and that he doesn’t know how to be honest and do things the right way anymore. He openly admits this to his study group, whom he’s managed to sufficiently tick off.
However, the group, admiring his honesty and showing him empathy, asks him to rejoin the study group, to help him get started on his new, honest path.
Shirley Bennett: “C’mon, let’s study.”
For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.
-Luke 8:17 NLT
God will sometimes allow us to get away with things for quite some time before we fall on our faces, but that time does always come.
The truth is there IS a right and wrong. And we all know it. Deep down, when we do something we shouldn’t, we feel it. Over time, we may feel it less and less, but it is still there.
We don’t convince ourselves that what we are doing isn’t wrong. We convince ourselves that what we are doing isn’t hurting anybody, so it must be okay.
But living a dishonest life isn’t okay.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
-Proverbs 10:9 ESV
God wants us to live honestly, openly, to be vulnerable. We’ve let our lies build up a defense around us, but we’re just making it harder for ourselves to live a life we truly desire.
An honest life, where we don’t have the burden of guilt weighing down on us.
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
-1 Peter 3:10-12 ESV
And honest life is a life we will love to live. Isn’t that what we all want?
And just like Jeff, when we finally open up and admit we are vulnerable, weak, or lost, we find that there are people around us who know what it’s like that will want to help us be better. Pain always brings solidarity between those striving to be better.
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
-Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT
Bottom line: You’ll never find the answers you seek living a life of lies.
Matthew Coker is a Media Director at a church in his hometown, where he also is a leader at a Celebrate Recovery program. He’s a huge comic book nerd, Whovian, and Funko Pop Collector. Matthew and his wife live in New Mexico.