It wasn’t the first time it happened in sports, and it certainly won’t be the last. But perhaps mentioning it again can help keep us from making a similar shameful error.
A college coach—one noted for his Christian character—resigned in disgrace after it was discovered that he had violated rules clearly spelled out by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. One magazine article concluded: “His integrity was one of the great myths of college football.”
This was certainly an embarrassing time for the coach, but here’s the most sobering part: It can happen to any of us. The temptation to go behind the hidden door of secrecy in our lives and do things that dishonor the Lord haunts us all. Indeed, we are all capable of turning our own integrity into a myth—of turning our testimony for Jesus into a sham. No matter what the temptation, we are all vulnerable.
So, how do we avoid giving in? We acknowledge the universality of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13). We recognize the dangerous results of giving in to sin (James 1:13-15). We keep accountable to fellow believers (Eccl. 4:9-12). And we plead with God for help not to fall (Matt. 26:41). Only God’s grace and power can keep us from falling and pick us up when we do.
He cunningly causes the strongest to fall;
But we his sly methods are sure to discern
By making God’s warnings our daily concern. —D. De Haan