How Far Can I Go?
Hebrews 4:12-13 – For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edge sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we must give account.
Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 16:8 - Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
Titus 2:7-8 – In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.
“It’s not illegal if you don’t get caught”. We’ve all probably heard the saying, and maybe even used it ourselves a time or two. It’s an easy rationalization – and when we’re honest, we admit that is all it is, a rationalization. In hockey, it’s become a part of the culture, to push the limits of what’s going to get called a penalty. Not pushing the limits of what’s legal or illegal, but using a discreet hook or a hidden hold because you know they won’t get called. Because after all, it’s not a penalty if it doesn’t get called right?
We try to get away with the smallest of infractions to get an edge, and while deep down we know it’s not right, it’s commonly accepted as part of the game. But there are a couple of major follies with this. The first is that nothing is hidden from God. Hebrews 4 tells us that there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we must give account. We may fool the referee, but we will not fool God.
Second, the concept of gaining advantage through whatever means possible displays a focus on winning at the expense of character and integrity. Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. As a follower of Jesus, we should be wise to these traps where someone will say, and even believe, that a way is right, and yet leads to death.
Some may argue that ‘playing on the edge’ is necessary to compete, especially at higher levels of hockey. I would strongly contend that you can play clean and excel in hockey. However, even if you have to give up playing at a certain level, of have lower stats, because you don’t compromise your principals, you are still better off. Proverbs 16:8 - Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
I think this matter affects both our personal relationship with the Lord and our ability to display Jesus to the rest of the world. We are called to do everything as if doing it for the Lord (Col 3:17). If we compromise integrity in an area of our life, however small, we are not living according to this scripture. Jesus also told us to let our good deeds shine before men (Matthew 5:16). This is why Paul encourages Titus to be above reproach in his conduct (Titus 2:7-8).
So, the question should not be ‘how far can I go?’, but ‘how can I be above reproach?’.
If someone will rationalize unjust gain in a sport, are they likely to do it in other areas of their life?
In what areas of your life can you work on being above reproach?
For more reading see – Proverbs 12:28, Proverbs 13:11, Proverbs 15:27
Posted on Tue, January 15, 2013
by Todd Lohstreter filed under