November 20, 2008

When did integrity become a flaw?

Yahoo! Sports reported this morning on golfer J. P. Hayes' honesty in reporting a mistake. The story itself is a good one. After discovering that he used a golf ball that's no allowed in the tournament, Mr. Hayes contacted the tournament and got himself disqualified. Honesty took precedence for Mr. Hayes over money, and that's an important lesson.

What I find most interesting is the wording of the headline announcing this story: "Integrity costs golfer dearly".



What was he thinking?! Doing the right thing? That's an old, outdated way of thinking, no longer in line with the ideals of our modern society.

Telling the truth is difficult. We all hear that voice in our heads that tells us "the easy way out". When we get caught, it just shouts, "More lies! Bigger lies!" When we don't get caught - or won't - all it must do is quietly whisper. "Hey, let that go. You don't have to lie. Just don't tell the truth. Sit back and let your problem solve itself." What could be easier than doing nothing?

Nothing is easier than doing nothing, but we're not called to take it easy. Even when Christ tell us that "my yolk is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt 11:30), its important to remember that there's still a yolk and a burden. There's still work to be done - including being honest in a culture that reveres the lie.

I'm not out to make J. P. Hayes a hero. That's the problem - his story shouldn't be front-page news. It shouldn't be a headline that someone tells the truth.

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