Thursday, January 10, 2013

What I have in Common with Armstrong, Bonds & Clemens by Jim Daly

Two of the most prominent potential inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, were passed over by sportswriters due to their alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

And we learned the other night that Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong is planning to sit down with Oprah Winfrey and admit to blood doping - and ask the public to forgive him.

It would be easy to grow cynical over the fate of these fallen stars, to point a finger and deride them for not only their private and their public sins, but also for the bad influence they've been on our children.

These stars of the big stage took drugs or illegal treatment, or so we're told. I get it. But what do I take?

I don’t take drugs, but I do, all too often, take myself too seriously.
I sometimes take the gift of God's grace too lightly.
I take my morality, look at my happy marriage, and in a weak moment, find myself tempted to feel superior to the guy finding his way through his fifth divorce.
There have been times when I take my beautiful and brilliant wife, Jean, for granted.
There have been other times when I take too much and give too little.
I take and embrace the ways of the world more quickly than embracing God’s Word.

One of my favorite observations from C.S. Lewis addresses this issue of thinking too highly of ourselves and our own righteousness, and not fully realizing that we're all sinners saved by grace.

“When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less.”

So before we're tempted to take another person to task for something they did or didn't do, perhaps it would be good for us to take hold of a mirror and take a look face-to-face with ourselves and the facts of our own life.

excerpt from Focus on the Family's "Daly Focus" on January 9, 2013