Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Cheating is wrong . . . unless it doesn't help you win.

Nobody likes double standards.

Very few people are open to the thought that they may be living according to a double standard.

Double standards bore a hole in our character in such a way that we lose trust and credibility.

Yet, not one single person alive can claim to be without some sort of double standard.

As Major League Baseball finally got started last month, Covid helped overshadow the darkness that surrounded it - the cheating scandal of the Houston Astros.  Ever since MLB began before 1900, people have been cheating to some degree in order to get a little advantage.  Even today, sign-stealing is normal.  You put down signs as a catcher and I will try to read them as I'm a baserunner on second base and somehow relay them to the batter.  This is why they switch up signs when runners are on base.  It is a part of the game.

Houston Astros players took it too far.  But, does it deserve the death threats and former players  guaranteeing that Astros batters will be getting hit all year?  This quote from a current pitcher seems to sum up the mood of the hundreds of players who have spoken out: “I’m not going to let them forget the fact that they are hypocrites, they are cheaters, they’ve stolen from a lot of other people and the game itself."  For a system that identifies winning World Series with success, is it any wonder that people do (and always will) see what they can get away with in order to win one?

With this in mind, let me ask you one question:  Would there be this outrage (or even the investigation at all) if Houston did not win the 2017 World Series?  I think it's safe to say that it would not be the shadow that it is on the 2020 season nearly like it has.  You can do whatever you want in your sport, in your profession, in your large university, but if you end up succeeding AND you get caught, you'll hear it from the rest of us.  We really don't care about right and wrong, when it comes down to it, because, guess what, we've all done wrong, we've all either sought to get ahead or looked the other way when we knew that someone else did.

Psalm 73 addresses this concept of human behavior.  The writer didn't like the fact that people were doing evil and getting away with it.  Who would like that, right?  He returned to his senses when he declares near the end, "Nevertheless, I am continually with you."  When our standards seem to be double-standards, admit it and return to the God of focused standards.  When life seems unfair, to any degree, run to the Rock that is higher than us.  Ultimately, humility is the best answer:  "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26. 

God's standards, thankfully, are always the same and they are never contradictory to each other.  Yes, we get confused on what He's doing and what He's up to, but that's on us, not Him.  Run to the Rock, God Himself.

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