Every day, a new scandal seems to dominate the media. Today, two atletic scandals are dominated the news, as both Oklahoma and University of North Carolina have announced various disciplinary sanctions, either self-imposed or NCAA-imposed. And let’s face it, we aren’t at any shortage of political scandals.
The last thing I want to do is become a finger-pointing, judgmental type of person. I get this (at least, I hope I do). I’m very imperfect.
But there comes a point when you want to scream at some of these programs, coaches, athletes, and politicians who continually get caught in a scandal: STOOOOP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!
The older I get, the more I realize the choices I made yesterday, a year ago, when I woke up in the morning, or as a child, make up who I am today and how I’m living. Again, I’m living imperfectly. I’m not without sin. I’m definitely an awful person at times. But it’s almost as if these programs, coaches, athletes, and politicians have worn an invicibility cloak for too long. They think they are untouchable, that no one is going to find out, that what they are doing today won’t affect tomorrow.
The truth is, all of these scandals aren’t “one-time mistakes.” — I never believe that line. The scandals they are getting caught in today were choices they made long ago. Who they are today started long ago.
Didn’t anyone ever tell them they were doing the wrong thing? Did they ever look in the mirror and care?
All of this has made me start asking: Why do I make (or attempt to make) the right choices today? Is it because I think I’m not invicible and would get caught? Or do I make them to please God, to obey Him, and to deepen my relationship with Jesus? I truly hope it is the latter.
These scandalous news stories makes me reflect on a few things:
* Who I am becoming is much more important than what I’m doing, but what I’m doing is a reflection of who I am becoming. Therefore, I want to make choices today that will affect who I am becoming as a 40 year old father, a 55 year old pastor, and a 75 year old grandfather.
* The motivation for making the right choices needs to be because of my love and fear of God, my obedience to Him, and my relationship with Jesus. I don’t want to do the “right things” to just be able to point the finger or hold some righteous standing over others. The motivation for right is as important as doing the right thing, I believe.
* Youth ministry is important! I know I know, most of what I reflect on ends up affirming what I (and many of you) do, but come on — isn’t youth ministry, and ultimately the teaching of young people to build a foundation of being able to choose right and wrong based on God’s morality, grace, and truth the most important thing in the world? Because the choices these young people make today will ultimately reflect who they become down the road.
What you do today is really important. The choices you make today will ultimately affect tomorrow.