With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. (1 Chronicles 29:17)

I don’t know who to believe anymore. People in the media are always swearing up one side and down the other only to later admit they weren’t exactly telling the truth. They’re not apologizing. They’re not sorry they lied. In some cases, they don’t even think of what they did as lying.

You remember then-President Clinton swearing (literally under oath) to a grand jury that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman.” We all found out later that he was lying and, well, in fact did have sexual relations with that woman. He just called it something else.

It seems society allows us to create our own personal dictionary in order to redefine words to suit our situation. Words like sexual relations, cheating, and lying. Pete “I never bet on baseball” Rose has his own definition for cheating, as does Raphael “I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never.” Palmeiro.

Not ones to be left out, Michael Vick and Jerome Bettis have added their names to the list. Of course, the public has eagerly pounced on Michael Vick—but more for his cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs than for his lying about it. Yet no one seems to mind The Bus’ admission of guilt. No one thinks of him as having lied. It’s called “strategy” or “smarts” or “how to play the game.” But I disagree. To paraphrase Shakespeare: “A lie by any other name would smell as stinky.”

In his upcoming book, Bettis relates the story of his going into training camp one year with a knee that had been surgically repaired the previous summer. Since he was afraid he’d be cut if the team knew how much the knee was injured, Bettis didn’t say anything. Early into camp practices, Bettis fell down during a drill, grabbed his knee, and yelled in pain.

Explaining his actions, Bettis writes, “Man, did I do a nice job of acting. The thing is, I wasn’t faking that I had an injury. I was just faking that the injury happened on that short-yardage play. I had to fool the coaches and the team’s medical department into thinking the injury had occurred on that play. Otherwise, the Steelers would have had their reason to cut me and my salary.”

According to the rules of the league, because Bettis was hurt in training camp, the Steelers weren’t allowed to release him. Bettis goes on to say, “In my mind, what I did was justifiable because the original injury occurred while I was playing for the Steelers.”

Maybe because no one got hurt from Bettis’ actions (not that we know of) or because he eventually won a Superbowl ring, people think Bettis did the right thing.

What does God think?

In Proverbs 6, a lying tongue is listed as one of the six things the Lord hates. Revelation 22 tells us that everyone who loves and practices lying is kept outside the gates of the holy city (along with sorcerers, immoral persons, murderers, and idolaters—ouch!). Proverbs 12:22 says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.”

For those who insist that what these people did was not in fact lying, let’s define the word lie according to an objective dictionary and not one that we’ve created. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word lie means “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive; to create a false or misleading impression.”

In the case of Jerome Bettis, uh…check and check. Let’s not deceive ourselves and play games with the truth. If we want to be like Jesus, we must tell the truth--at all times and at all costs.

What makes us want to tell a lie? According to Romans 2, selfish ambition leads us to disobey the truth. Words for the wise: If we start a sentence with the phrase, “In my mind, what I did was justifiable…” we probably did something wrong. Instead of going by our own thoughts and justifications, we need to do things God’s way. God’s way guarantees rewards far greater than ten Superbowl rings.

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