Picture from AP
Her words were riveting. Enthralled, I listened, for she indicated she had something important to say. In the beginning, her beautiful voice rang strong and deliberate, but merely a few sentences into her press conference outside the U S District Court, she wavered and then she was crying. I was close to tears myself, when in a breaking voice, she apologized to her children, to her husband, her family, her friends, her country, saying she had lied, she had been dishonest. I don’t follow sports, so up until a few days ago, I was not at all familiar with Marion Jones.
Throughout the day yesterday, her words were repeated by the media, and each time I heard them, I was impressed with this beautiful young woman. A three-time Olympic gold medalist, for years she has been lying–angrily, I understand–as she defended herself against charges of steroid use. Yesterday, she admitted her deception.
I may be fooled in this person, for I note that not only has she been entangled in illegal steroid use, but she also is charged–and has pled guilty–to involvement with a check-fraud scheme. So, I acknowledge, I may be wrong, but to me, Marion Jones appears truly repentant, and I want to talk a little in this devotional about honesty and repentance. I’m raising some questions to which I would like your response.
Not since God fashioned Adam and then Eve has there lived one human who has not at one time or another lied. All of us–to one degree or another–have been devious and misleading. Admit it, now. We’re all flawed, and dishonesty comes easily to us. But most of us take ourselves in hand, and certainly after we come to know the Lord, we strive for integrity and truthfulness.
Luke 16:10 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)
What should happen when someone has been dishonest? How can we recognize a change in one’s spirit? Does it matter to you if a person appears repentant? What of blame? Does it mitigate the circumstance if the person takes the blame for his/her action? Does it make a difference if a person admits to lying only when the truth is revealed–or about to be revealed–as seems to be the case with Marion? What of restitution? Does it elevate Marion in your eyes that she is retiring? Do you have difficulty trusting someone who admits to having lied? What of repeated lying and repentance? Do you see lying as a serious problem in our society? What about among church people? Why do you believe this is so–or not so?
I have more questions than I have answers, but in Marion Jones, I sense true sorrow and repentance, and I respect her for that. I may be wrong here…time will tell.
16 thoughts on “Demonstration of Honesty from a Liar”
Repentance is the first step. After that it is up to the person to live in the freedom they have. Will they choose to live in honesty now? Wait and see. Judge their repentance by their continued actions.
Good morning, Curtis. Welcome to my blog.
You have spoken wise words, for it is only by our actions that our true heart is revealed. I do hope Marion Jones is truly repentant.
Hi Sister Buxton,
I like the way Jesus talks about repentance in the following verses.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee and escape from the wrath and indignation [of God against disobedience] that is coming?
Mat 3:8 Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart];
Mat 3:9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, We have Abraham for our forefather; for I tell you, God is able to raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones!
Mat 3:10 And already the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins]. But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
John the Baptist asked to see evidence(fruit)that those who were coming to him to be baptized had repented. There are examples in the Bible of people who did show evidence of repentance. Zacchaeus is one who comes to my mind.
Luk 19:1 AND [Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through it.
Luk 19:2 And there was a man called Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, and [he was] rich.
Luk 19:3 And he was trying to see Jesus, which One He was, but he could not on account of the crowd, because he was small in stature.
Luk 19:4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass that way.
Luk 19:5 And when Jesus reached the place, He looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.
Luk 19:6 So he hurried and came down, and he received and welcomed Him joyfully.
Luk 19:7 And when the people saw it, they all muttered among themselves and indignantly complained, He has gone in to be the guest of and lodge with a man who is devoted to sin and preeminently a sinner.
Luk 19:8 So then Zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared to the Lord, See, Lord, the half of my goods I [now] give [by way of restoration] to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now] restore four times as much. [Exod. 22:1; Lev. 6:5; Num. 5:6, 7.]
Luk 19:9 And Jesus said to him, Today is [Messianic and spiritual] salvation come to [all the members of] this household, since Zacchaeus too is a [real spiritual] son of Abraham;
Luk 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.
It appears that Marion Jones is repentant, and hopefully, she will continue to walk in the honesty that she has displayed.
Wow, Carol. Thank you for this great little Bible study on repentance and restitution.
It’s comforting to know that indeed Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost.” Every day I throw myself on His mercy.
Compare her reaction to Michael Vick, or Barry Bonds. Most people it is all about them.
Shame and guilt truly wear on us. It is relief to be freed, no matter how.
There you are, Larry. Trust all is well with you, and I do thank you for taking the time to be here.
Absolutely is there great relief in being freed from shame and guilt.
I don’t like how she lied to the public about her use of steroids. What kind of example is she setting for the the kids that looked up to her as a hero. But she did finally came clean for her wrong doing. Maybe Barry Bonds will take a page from her book and come clean about his use of steroids.
Arm5, now that she has apologized and confessed her use of steriods, is she a good role model for our young people?
Only God can know the heart. We may never know whether her repentance is true or not. And if her repentance does not lead to Godly sorrow and repentance unto life, then it is only good in this life.
I have two teenagers and the only role models I encourage them to emulate are Christians who are obviously living a holy life, and even then I caution them that the only true Model they can have is Jesus Christ.
Hello, Janet. Welcome to my site.
You are a wise mother–wise to encourage your children to emulate Christians–and wise to acknowledge that any man might fail them.
Only in Jesus can we absolutely trust.
This reminds me of an article by Tony Woodlief, “The Death of Truth”. (WORLD magazine). An excerpt:
“Truth was crucified on Golgotha, and we murder it again every day in our business, our politics, our personal lives.
Here’s a thought experiment: what would happen if, just for one day, we all of us told the truth? Would it be heaven, or hell?
Or consider a wrinkle on that scenario: what if we all stopped lying? No more white lies, no truth-shadings, no self-deception. ”
Our hearts – deceitfully wicked.
Hi Sis. Buxton,
These are truly thought provoking questions. I have printed them off to think about what I truly feel about the different questions you have brought up. I will say this right now and then probably add more later, this woman probably feels a huge burden has been lifted due to finally admitting the truth. Secrets are such an albatross. As she is retiring, it does seem a little late in the game for a confession.
Personally, I would probably have more respect for a confession made by someone at the peak of their game, than a confession that one is somewhat forced to by other crimes revealed. However, at least she did confess and that is worth something. We have all been untruthful at one time or another. Mercy is a two way street. Matthew 5:7 states “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
An interesting article I am reading on this is “The Ways We Lie” by Stephanie Ericsonn at http://www.memorial.ecasd.k12.wi.us/Departments/langarts/dnelson/12%20Ericsson%20The%20Ways%20We%20Lie%20Rev.%2012.05.pdf (some of it is truthful, some of it is personal opinion, and some of it is off the wall, but a good portion of it is thought provoking.):)
VICKY and ANNA, thank you for the links. I will definitely utilize them as this is such an important subject, and one that has been on my heart for a very long time.
Just last week I was astounded to hear of a minister–a godly, well-respected minister–say lightly of another person’s lack of truthfulness, “Oh, that’s so-and-so. That’s just how he is, but we love him.”
I’m quick to extend mercy, for I know I am the “chiefest”, and am desperately in need of mercy myself . Is it possible, though, that our society has becomes so inured to falsehood and deceit that we tend to brush aside its evil and negative impact on us?
Hi Sister Shirley
I believe that the only precious advice that I can give you is to visit http://www.esoriano.wordpress.com
where you can post your question, anything under the sun. More importantly, the questions of your conscience’, mind and heart.
I hope you would not mind me posting such invitation. I love you for you tender and motherly advice. And since I won’t be able to show it personally, face to face, let me prove it in my own little way.
Good morning, Elman. Thank you for being here.
You are such a sweet person–a young man, if I can go by your picture, and I appreciate what you have to say. (Are you comfortable in saying whether or not that is actually your picture on your avatar? Mine is an actual picture.)
I’m pledging to you that I will always keep myself open to Truth. In return, because I care about you, I’d like your pledge of the same. How about it?
High Sister Shirley,
This session on lying is really thought provoking. After reading the discussions and links, I wonder how much do the little “white lies” drain us of our energy. I’m sure that the lies such as were told by Ms. Jones, drains and saps us of our strenghth and may even cause us lack of sleep, and other health problems, depending on our concious. I’m glad that Mrs. Jones has relieved heself the anxiety that must have accompanied this lie. I’m sure that her lack of truth affected her more than it affected me or most of her fans for that matter. The essay that Anna provided the link to was both humorous and thought provoking. Thanks for sharing. I can remember as a child my father often telling me, “What a wicked web we weave, when once we start to deceive.” He explained to me very young that one lie will require another lie and the web will expand until the truth is finally told.