Here is my take on the Manti Te’o situation:
Mr. Te’o was duped. I don’t understand how something like that can happen. I don’t understand how someone of Mr. Te’o’s intellect could be so gullible. But I guess it happens. I feel sorry for him. I can’t even imagine the “trash-talk” he will receive when he gets to the NFL.
Once Mr. Te’o realized he had been duped, instead of confessing it right then, he lied. The lie got bigger and bigger. Eventually it was uncontrollable and so he had to keep lying. Pride is like that! Pride, if you let it, will grow beyond your ability to control it. Pride will convince you do to unreasonable things to protect your image. After all, “image is everything.”
Here is my take on the Lance Armstrong situation:
Mr. Armstrong duped everyone, including me. I cheered for him. He is the reason I started watching the Tour de France. I admired his conquest over cancer and his foundation that has given millions of dollars to cancer research. When it comes to successful marketing and branding, the phrase “Live Strong” ranks up there with “Just Do It!”
I considered Mr. Armstrong to be one of the greatest athletes of our day.
I was duped.
Here is my take-away from both situations:
Except for the grace of God, there go I.
No, that’s not right. I think this is more accurate:
In spite of the grace of God, I have already gone there.
My life is not as public as Armstrong’s or Te’o’s, and so my lies are not as public. But like them, I am easily duped and I easily dupe others when it is for my benefit. I am as prideful as both of them, and I will do everything within my power to protect my image.
I don’t like that about myself. I wish I could change…but I know I can’t.
But God can!
If I confess my pride and dupe-ability to Him, He forgives me and cleanses me of all unrighteousness. If I can ever get out of my own way and let God do what He wants to do in me and through me, then I can overcome my pride. I can be the man, husband, father, pastor, teacher, friend, and scuba-diver I desire to be.
The choice is mine.
I can continue to live a lie, or I can confess it and be set free.
Freedom doesn’t come from sitting down with ESPN or Oprah Winfrey.
Freedom only comes by confessing my sins to God.
That’s my two-cents worth.
Remember, you get what you pay for.
And you pay for what you get.