The George Mitchell Report into steroid and other drug use has been released to the world. As expected, upwards of 70 players were named in the report as having taken performance enhancing drugs. Included are Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Barry Bonds, Migeul Tejada and more. These are big names, not utility infielders. Most disturbing is that so few of the current players listed (only two, plus one more sent information through an attorney) met with Mitchell despite everyone getting invited.
I understand, I think, but it only makes matters worse. When we don’t know the extent of use, we’re left to speculate as to how deep it goes. I’ve been sure people were cheating in baseball before this, but now I have to question the accomplishments of so many players. And what would my team have been able to do if they weren’t playing against cheaters? Or how much of what my team did do was because of cheating? My love for the game of baseball is diminished–or at least tainted–because of the actions of some players.
The lesson here for Christians is that what we do affects our message. If we preach hope on Sunday morning, but repeatedly despair ourselves, what does that really say about what we teach? Or worse, if we teach against and loudly protest things that are contrary to God’s Word, only to later be found to be doing those same things, what does that say about our message? What we do–whether we want it to or not–affects what we teach and confess.
Of course, it can also enhance the message we preach as well. The secret lies in living an authentic, honest life. That means we try to do the things we teach, even when no one is around. It means we own our mistakes and admit when our actions don’t match our words. It means we focus on grace when dealing with others, because we know we’re just as guilty as them. It means we rely solely on God for our salvation, because we can’t do it ourselves.