Ryan Lochte lied! Lochte a 32-year-old U.S. Olympic swimmer has won 12 Olympic medals – six gold, three silver, three bronze. Lochte’s achievements rank him second behind only Michael Phelps as the most decorated man in Olympic swimming History.
In spite of his successes, Lochte created an international incident at the Rio Olympics. As, Ryan told the world that he and three other American Swimmers were robbed at gunpoint by men carrying police badges.
A Brazilian police investigation not only proved the allegation false, but revealed it was Lochte who had committed the crime. In a drunken rampage the swimmer vandalized a sign, destroyed a bathroom soap dispenser and publicly urinated at a Rio gas station.
Ryan Lochte lied!
Marben Bland lied! Bland a 58-year-old seminary student and licensed preacher has had a stellar professional career – earning honors as a speaker, writer and business owner.
He has worked in senior leadership for some of the world’s best companies including Sara Lee, Eaton, Fiskars Brands, PPG and Advanced Micro Devices. He actively practices his Christian faith by preaching, blogging and leading group bible studies.
However, despite his professional accolades and professed faith, Marben has lied repeatedly about important and trivial things, to family, friends, business partners and the women in his romantic life.
His lies inflected pain, produced misunderstandings, causing loses of money, trust and social standing.
Marben Bland lied! David lied! King David, the “sweet singer of Israel,” reigned over Israel for nearly 40 years, from 1000 B.C. to 962 B.C. David’s greatness as a leader was forecast years prior to his kingship. As a young shepherd, beyond all odds, he defeated the towering Philistine Warrior – Goliath.
As King, David conquered the city of Jerusalem, defeated the Philistines and ushered in the city’s golden age. Following God’s commandments, David brought the Ark to Jerusalem and destroyed the “High Places” where only the select could worship. He made Jerusalem not only the political capital of Israel, but its religious center as well.
Not only did King David successfully rule over a unified Israel, but his reign also established a powerful dynasty. From David’s bloodline would come Jesus the Christ, sent by God to restore Israel and to save the world. However, with all that greatness and favor from God, David lied about an affair he had with a woman named Bathsheba.
David followed this lie with a murder – he arranged for Uriah, Bathsheba’s Husband, to be sent to the front lines of battle where he was killed. The lie led to additional death and pain, as the son conceived in David and Bathsheba’s night of passion died. Ryan, Marben and David all lied!
Sooner or later, we will reap the consequences sowed by our lies:
- Ryan – lost his sponsor endorsements and faces the possibility of being barred from competitive swimming.
- Marben – lost friends, opportunities, money and relationships.
- David – lost control of the royal court as his son Adonijah attempted to overthrow his father and seize his throne.
However, despite all the wrong that we have done; God gives all of us the opportunity of a second chance.
God is not only the God of second chances; He is the God of another chance!
This is good news because even when given another chance, most of us mess up the opportunity of the second chance fairly quickly.
One of the amazing facets of God’s character is His incredible patience with us. Psalm 86:15 says it well, “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.”
Regardless of the lies we have told, the blunders we have made and the sins we have committed, God will not only forgive us, but He will give us the opportunity for the second chance.
Nevertheless, to gain that second chance, we must sincerely ask God for forgiveness.
After his sins with Bathsheba were exposed, David wrote Psalm 51, which can be a model for us when we ask the Father for forgiveness:
“‘Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins!’
‘Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin!’
‘I recognize my faults; I am always conscious of my sins.’
I have sinned against you — only against you — and done what you consider evil. So you are right in judging me; you are justified in condemning me.’” (vs 1-4)
“Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins!” (vs 1)
Psalm 130:3 from The Message translation tells us:
“If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped.”
God has given Ryan, Marben, David and anyone who is reading this post the opportunity for a second chance.
Remember that no lie is too big, and no sin is too large that God will not forgive.
Ryan, Marben and David all lied – but we are all given the opportunity of the second chance by a God who loves us and wants the best for us even when we have done wrong greatly.
For as Sir Thomas Moore wrote in the great hymn of the church – Come, Ye Disconsolate, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”