August 19, 2016
By Kristen Johnson
American Olympic swimmer, Ryan Lochte, has been all over the news for days now. First, he claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint in Rio by men dressed as policemen. Then, over several days, the story fell apart……and today he has issued an apology for his actions, sort of.
Multiple news stories are reporting on the story. To summarize, policemen did point guns at him and a few of his teammates. But, the incident occurred after police were called to the gas station that they just vandalized after a night of drinking. I’m not saying that the police officers should have pointed their guns or that they should have asked for money (which is apparently common practice in Rio). However, painting the police officers as robbers and then finding out that they were called in because or your crimes – well, that sort of changes the story, doesn’t it?
The really sad thing about it is that this idiocy takes the stage and thereby takes AWAY from the good stories of Olympians working their hearts out in the olympic games. And, it also makes Americans look like playful, fluffy idiots as usual. I’d much rather that Americans be portrayed in the media as giving, loving, charitable beings. I am pleased that Mr. Lochte has publicly apologized, but it feels much too little too late.
So, as Liberal Christians, we are required to forgive Mr. Lochte for his actions, and I shall. But, this story makes me ponder how we are required to act (truthfully) and the things we are really supposed to focus on:
Proverbs 12:22 (NRSV): Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
In the case of Mr. Lochte’s actions, it seems that one lie led to another and then to another, when the truth would have been the best way to go right from the start. But, of course I need to remember that I have my own lying heart to deal with, and not concentrate on someone else’s lying. Instead I should concentrate on:
Galations 6:1 (NRSV): My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted.
Time for me to move onward and examine my own lying lips…..
Serve all with love.