Is there really such a thing as a little lie? A friend on Facebook was recently bemoaning an ad from an airline for reduced rates to a city she would like to visit only they are for one leg of the trip, the rest is more than twice as much. We call that “bait and switch” and assume its use by advertisers. I remember schooling my hubby early on in our marriage about the “Washington speak” of elected officials. Such things as “I will not resign” being code for “My signature on the resignation isn’t quite dry on my desk but I’m out by the end of the week.” We’d laugh at the amount of times we could interpret the lies.
But this week our celebrity soaked culture hit a new low. As Lance Armstrong sat on Oprah’s show and admitted he had lied. In fact, he had never told the truth, faked tests and spent his whole career defeating opponents while doping. We can blame him, and see again the truth of Mark Twain’s “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled.” Or we can, and should, take a long look at the open idolatry of holding up any human to superhuman standards and worshiping anyone other than God.
Why do I say it this way? Because Lance Armstrong doesn’t seem to care that he cheated and lied. That he ruined his marriage and lived against what we hold dear when we talk about the highest ideals of sportsmanship and honesty. He got famous. He’s still famous, though perhaps infamous, and that was his ultimate goal. This thinking that anything is better than ordinary is what truly worries me for the generations that follow.
In America success had become defined solely on how famous one can get. Not how one gets that famous. But think about what people get famous for, or more to my point, what they don’t get famous for. People don’t get famous for staying married; for making their families a priority; for being nice or kind. Being gifted to serve others won’t get you famous, unless you have the talents of neurosurgery, perhaps. And while the current “Sportskid of the Year” is a heartwarming, tearjerker of a story it is a puddle compared to the tidal wave of ink Sports Illustrated has used about Mr. Armstrong.
All this thinking about truth was going to be put toward a book review of my latest Kindle find called, Speaking of Jesus by Carl Medearis which is a well-written, fresh approach to what Mr. Medearis calls “the art of non-evangelism” (its subtitle) and a good read for anyone who has spent more than a few years in church. It is a reminder that God is still seeking and saving the lost. His points are refreshing once you get past the initial shock, like the first pool visit of the summer when the weather is hot but the water is still mostly cold. It takes a bit to see his points as more valid than “cheeky.” And it is a book that requires an honest look at ourselves as we read. I wonder if we aren’t losing the ability to look honestly, even in the mirror. I pray we will be given “eyes to see” and we will still want to use them.
Blessings for the light of Truth to shine on your path that you might not be lost in the dark and that others may see His light in you.