We all tell lies and have to deal with the consequences. I still am bothered about a lie I told my High School sports coach 35 years ago in Scotland.
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When I was in High School, I belonged to the sprint relay team. It was an honor to be chosen and I loved running around the bends of the 400 meter track. The coach that we had was superb. He was a great encourager and a wonderful teacher. We excelled as a sprint team because of his positive coaching. We all wore gold vests which he gave us, representing the colors of our High School. I cherished mine and kept it, instead of handing it back in at the end of the season. Our coach was so successful, he was promoted as an assistant principal at another school.
The next season a different coach arrived. He was severe and a disciplinarian. He took the joy out of our accomplishments and I eventually left the sprint team. During athletics practice one day, he caught me wearing my cherished gold vest. He grabbed me by the arm and told me to take it off. That’s when I told the lie. I insisted that my mother had purchased me the vest at a sports shop in Glasgow. The coach scrutinized the label and, sure enough, the tag belonged to the shop that I mentioned. He looked me in the eyes and then dismissed me. My lie had me kept me safe. He couldn’t prove it otherwise.
It has been thirty five years since I told that lie and it still bothers me today. I wish that I had told the truth. I wish that I had given back the vest. I wish that I could erase this from my past. I’d even thought about sending money to the school to buy vests for a whole sprint team, but the school was closed and demolished years ago. A subdivision has been built over the running track, so I have to live with my lie.
Hebrews 6:18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.
I am so thankful that God never lies. He keeps His Word. He fulfills His promises. He remains faithful to us, even although we are unfaithful to Him. When the Good Book reveals to us that God is forgiving, merciful, and gracious, it really means it. And when Jesus is described as being the Truth, Way, and Life, it’s not a lie. These things encourage me to try to be a Christian. Where I fail, God succeeds. When I am weak, He is strong. When I feel lost, He still guides.
Prayer: Lord God, we all have regrets, make mistakes, and even tell lies. We are sorry for the disappointments we cause and the hurts that we create. Forgive us of all our sins and allow us to begin again. Grant us Your mercy and grace, Your love and compassion. In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today's message, send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org