Even if you’re not a baseball fan, it would be difficult to miss the big news of the latest scandal involving performance enhancing drugs.
Ryan Braun is already serving a negotiated 65 game suspension. It’s rumored as many as 20 others may be found guilty including New York Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez. While many are continuing to work with MLB, negotiating shorter suspensions, A-Rod has vowed to fight it.
The Today show played the 2009 clip When A-Rod famously said following a Sports Illustrated article that revealed him cheating by taking Steroids, “The only thing I ask from this group today and the American people is to judge me from this day forward. That’s all I can ask for.”
Well, we are Alex! And the picture is not pretty!
Yahoo Sports reports, that “Rodriguez is obstinate in his plans to appeal any suspension despite what one source deemed “overwhelming” evidence tying him to extensive performance-enhancing drug use as well as interfering with the league’s investigation into Biogenesis, the south Florida wellness clinic at the center of the latest PED controversy.”
Now contrast this attitude with that of teen golfer, Davis Riley. Here’s how the Reno Gazette-Journal described the scene at the 16th hole during the final match play round of the Junior Amateur.
He addressed the ball, checked his line, looked back down and then stood straight up and said, “It moved.”
With the nation’s most prestigious junior amateur tournament on the line, Riley, a 16-year-old from Hattiesburg, Miss., called a one-stroke penalty on himself.
After consulting with a rules official and repositioning his ball, his very speedy, now-par putt fell just short, and he conceded Scheffler’s tap-in par putt.
“It took a lot of heart to do that,” said 17 year old rising star Scottie Scheffler who won the championship.
According to reports, there were few, if any, onlookers who saw the small shift in the ball’s spot. Riley could have probably gotten away with the violation. And kept Himself in contention to win. But he didn’t. He respected the integrity of the game. And acted honorably. And honestly.
Looks like A-Rod and some of the Major League baseball greats could learn a lesson from this young golfer.
While famous sports cheaters come to like home run hitter Barry Bonds, Olympic sprinter Marion Jones and cyclist Lance Armstrong, we would like to think there are many more “Davis Riley’s” that we never hear about.
As we live in a society the seeks fame and fortune at any cost, even if it means breaking the rules, Christians are called to a higher standard. The Bible says we should “aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man” (2 Cor 8:21).
This means students taking a test without “crib notes.” Sales people accurately representing their product. Citizens reporting their income and paying their taxes. Business people operating ethically. Husbands and wives honoring their vows. Athletes playing by the rules. Preachers preaching the Truth.
Lost on many in today’s society is the wise man’s proverb,” Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich” (Prov. 28:6). Too many are willing to cheat. Lie. Steal. Whatever it takes to get ahead. What they fail to understand is that dishonesty takes its toll. When cheaters sow to the flesh, they will reap its bitter fruit.
Dishonesty breeds skepticism. Creates insecurity. Breaks trust. Wrecks relationships. Ruins reputations. Destroys careers. And finally bankrupts our souls.
Just look at Alex Rodriguez.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman