Thursday, August 26, 2010

Repentance and PED's

When I was young, I was given my first pack of baseball cards. I became hooked on them! I was excited about opening up those packages with the cardboard gum and quickly looking through to see which stars I had gloriously received. My goal was to get all the top stars first, then to aim for my favorite teams. If possible, to collect every single card in one set.

Today, I look back on those cards and it is with pity that I do not have the same view of those men. Now I see tainted records and men who did not stand for ethics and values. The very men I admired and saved in the plastic sleeves to one day be my retirement, have let me and many others down by their use of performance enhancing drugs (PED).

The rookies I held onto no longer hold the same meaning. People used to make fun of me for being a Wade Boggs fan. Today I can say at least he isn't implicated in PED use and his records aren't tainted. But many other stars were also men I used to look at in awe as they became phenomenal players.

In the news recently we're hearing from many of these men admitting to the use and distribution of these drugs. They speak with somber tone their disappointment with themselves and how they shouldn't have done it. This is the right response.

Others have "categorically denied" the use even though they have been proven otherwise. It is hard to remain a fan of these men. Roger Clemens was one of my favorite players in the late 80's. Some want to wash over it and say we should just forgive and move on. I do forgive him for using PED's. Everyone needs forgiveness. I just wish he would man-up and admit it.

We have done similar things in Christianity. We let men and women say and do things that are wrong and make excuses. When they admit failure, they are taking a stand for the forgiveness that is available to all who will ask for it. I admire that. I extend forgiveness to those people with all grace and mercy.

When others make excuses that those sins are not as bad as we have made them out to be in the past and that maybe God doesn't define certain things as sin anymore because culture has changed, I am let down. Where is the repentance?

God extends his forgiveness to us all. We have all sinned. We all make mistakes. We all choose to begin activities and habits that are deplorable before God. But only the repentant sinner receives the forgiveness through grace that God has promised. Use a discerning voice in all you hear and read. Be like the Bereans in the book of Acts who searched scripture to see if what they were taught is true.

Repent of sin and go and do those things no longer. There is hope in Christ's resurrection. We will one day be at a point where we will desire the things of the flesh no more and sin will no longer be an issue. We will be made new. Amen!

May God extend his grace and mercy to you every morning as you live like Jesus.