This past weekend was laced with tragedy in Raleigh. Several people died in separate car crashes, including a beloved young dancer with the Carolina Ballet and a bridegroom who was going to breakfast with his groomsmen just a few hours before he was to be married.
In both cases, the wrecks were caused by medical doctors: the first was stone-cold drunk when he drove his Mercedes — at 90 miles per hour, police say — into the back of the dancer’s Hyundai, which had slowed for a turn. The second doctor, visiting from Winston-Salem, ran a red light and crashed into the wedding party.
I am not writing this to bash physicians, who are human just like the rest of us. It was hard not to notice, however, that two deadly crashes were caused by people who are in the business of preserving and improving life.
The truth is, though we know that they walk the same ground as the rest of us, we expect more from doctors. They give us advice about losing weight or giving up cigarettes — or alcohol — and are generally charged with encouraging good health. Thus, we’re a bit taken aback when we see folks in the health profession engaged in risky behavior that puts others at risk. We expect more.
I say this because I’m reminded that people expect more of Christians, in some ways, as well. We’re expected to behave better, and to treat others better, than one who professes no loyalty to Christ.
In all-too-many cases these days, there is little evidence of distinction between those who claim to follow Jesus and those who follow whatever path looks good at the moment. I’m old-fashioned enough to think that Christ-followers should hew to higher standards of ethical, moral, and personal behavior.
Others expect more of us — and they should.