“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” – Colossians 3:9-10
You may or may not be old enough to remember the phrase “Liar, liar pants on fire!”, but it seems to be alive and well today! All you have to do is check out the news and you will see the Pinocchio Awards being given to dozens of people in the public spotlight for things they’ve said that are simply just not true. Worse yet, it seems that no one really cares! We hear things like “they spoke their truth.” Not “the truth”, but truth as they believe it to be. We live in confusing times.
As believers, we don’t have an option to say things that are factually untrue. We should never be in the position to get 3 or 4 Pinocchios! Our teammates and coaches (and parents and kids) must be able to trust absolutely everything that we say. That used to be a virtue called honesty and we used to be able to expect it from each other.
I can remember hearing a story from one of my kids about how they were mistreated by their coach in a way that, if true, I was going to need to address. But before I did, I had a very serious conversation with my young child to make sure that what they were saying was absolutely true; I didn’t want to confront the issue if there was even a tiny possibility that what they said happened didn’t really happen.
As coaches and athletes, we cannot lie. And, that includes fibs, white lies, or even stretching the truth. It means that our word is our bond. Everyone can trust that what we say is true…even if telling the truth is hard or may have hard consequences. Telling excuses about why you missed a practice or were late for a team meeting or making up some story to avoid the consequences is wrong and out-of-bounds. Even cutting corners on the number of reps you do in the weight room is a lie. Paul addresses this with his friends in the letter to the Colossians when he simply says – “do not lie!” Can’t you just hear him? “STOP LYING! That’s not who you are. It’s not good enough for someone who claims to love Jesus.”
It’s really a simple formula:
1. STOP LYING
2. TELL THE TRUTH
Every time you lie, just think to yourself – “That’s 4 Pinocchios.” Strive to get zero today as you live and compete under the name of Jesus.
- What lies are you telling yourself or others?
- What is one thing you can do today to ensure you stop lying? Who can help?
“God, help me to always tell the truth. Help me to be a person of my word that everyone can count on to tell the truth.”