Several English sayings come to my mind with regard to Ryan Lochte’s deplorable behavior in Rio de Janeiro. This is a very sad day for him. He has disgraced not only himself, but his family and in some ways our nation. Part of his problem is that he did not readily acknowledge that he was lying when he fabricated the story about being robbed at gunpoint. It was a totally made-up story to try to cover up his irresponsible drinking and vandalism of a bathroom. It is so ridiculous that it would be quite funny if it were not so sad ~ a decorated Olympic athlete acting in such a way.
So what is the take-away from this sad story? Tell the truth ~ ALWAYS ~ because lying is a tangled web.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”
Sir Walter Scott,
“Be sure your sin will find you out.”
Number 32:23 The Holy Bible
The word in Chinese for “sin” and “crime” are the same word while in English these words have a different meaning. A “crime” is what you do when you disobey the law of the land. A “sin” is what you do when you disobey God. Some people consider “sin” just a mistake, but the problem with that thinking is that it doesn’t recognize that we as humans struggle with more than just making a mistake. We struggle with our very nature having a propensity to sin or to want to have it “our way”. Sometimes people are so arrogant or prideful that they will never even admit that they have sinned. For example, Ryan Lochte did not technically commit a crime by lying. He did not just make a mistake. He intentionally did not tell the truth. He had a choice and he chose to lie and then he had every opportunity to tell the truth and he continued to lie.
“Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
Exodus 20:16 The Holy Bible
The Bible speaks very clearly about lying. It is even one of the ten commandments “Do not lie.” along with “Do not murder.” “Do not steal.” “Do not covet.”
Be truthful even when the truth hurts. I’m not talking about being truthful by being mean to someone by telling them that you really don’t like the shirt they are wearing. No, I’m talking about lying about the facts!!! Ryan Lochte certainly wishes he could turn back the hands of time and not try to lie his way out of being drunk and acting irresponsibly. It is extremely important to make a decision in your heart to be truthful. This is a decision you make not only in your mind, but also in your heart and soul. When given the opportunity to tell the truth or to lie, always speak the truth.
- What do you think Sir Walter Scott meant by “a tangled web”?
- What is the difference between a mistake, a crime and sin?
- In a court of law, what is the technical term to “bear false witness”?
- Why do you think it is important to make a decision in advance that you are going to be a truthful person?
- Why do you think some people lie instead of telling the truth?
- Another saying that comes to mind by Mark Twain, an American humorist: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” How could that be humorous, but also seriously true?