It's Still Cheating
Theme of the week: Sports: Make It a Thinking Man's Game
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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Key Bible Verse: "Do not steal. Do not deceive or cheat one another." (Leviticus 19:11)
Dig Deeper: Proverbs 11:1-6
Let's, for the record, call PED [performance-enhancing drug] use what it is: cheating. Sin, if you will. A willful attempt to subjugate the rules of the game for the furthering of one's own career.
So when Christian ballplayer Andy Pettitte halfway apologizes but asserts that he "doesn't consider himself a cheater" for taking human growth hormone to rehabilitate a shoulder injury, he is still a cheater. He just hasn't fully grasped it yet. He asserts that he "didn't do it to get an advantage," but isn't taking a banned substance to recover faster from a shoulder injury so that you can play baseball exactly that?
Besides trying to gain an advantage, taking PEDs diminishes the key goal of sports: to treat fans to a fair competition in which skilled athletes achieve success with their natural abilities. The joy comes from human achievement, not medical enhancement.
The dollar amounts on the line for top-performing athletes are huge. [And we're talking about] a lot of money for kids who probably haven't seen a lot of money in their lives. It's the promise of untold fame and riches, and the ability to provide for one's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. It's still cheating.
—Ted Kluck in The Reason for Sports
My Response: Do I feel that Christian athletes should be held to a higher standard than non-Christian athletes? Why or why not?
Thought to Apply: I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating.—Sophocles (Greek poet)
Adapted from The Reason for Sports (Moody, 2009) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
Copyright © 2014 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Prayer for the Week
Lord, help me to watch sports—and all that entertains me—with my mind fully engaged; and even as I enjoy what I watch, help me to be discerning and apply Christian principles to all of my entertainment choices.
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