By: Sam Chan
So … the Australian cricket team has been caught cheating. Tampering with the ball – with yellow (what were you thinking?) sandpaper – so that the ball swings in the air, making it unplayable for the South African batsmen.
Worse, was seeing Bancroft trying to hide the yellow (again, what were you thinking?) sandpaper down his underpants when caught by the umpires and hundreds of TV cameras around the world.
We are tired of our cricket team. We have, up until now, grudgingly tolerated them. But deep down we are ashamed of them – they are thugs, oafs, and bullies.
This has been one of many incidents over the last decades. Where to begin? David Warner’s send offs? Shane Warne’s diuretics? Mark Waugh and the bookies? On and on, we could go.
The Australian cricket team has always been unrepentant. They’ve justified their actions with all sorts of glib mantras: “Whatever it takes to win.” “It’s how we play.” “As long as we don’t cross the line” etc.
But before we judge them – or in the words of Jesus, “point out the speck in their eyes” – Jesus would tell us to remove the planks from our own eyes first.
Today, in the 21st Century West, we use the same glib mantras.
“whatever makes you happy”
“you’ve got to be true to yourself”
“as long as it’s what you want to do”
Any of these sound familiar? This is what we preach to high school and university students at every graduation speech every year, all around the world.
The problem is that any of our mantras can be used to justify the Australian cricket team’s actions. Using our logic, the Aussies’ only problem was that they got caught!
A better moral mantra is what my PhD supervisor Graham Cole taught me:
“Do I like the person that I’ve become?”
Nailed it. That’s it. We don’t like who the Aussie team has become.
But what about the plank in our eye then? Do we like who we’ve become?
Fortunately the solution from Jesus isn’t for us to try harder to be better than who we are. If we’ve fallen short once, we’re going to keep on falling short, no matter how hard we try to be better.
The solution from Jesus is for him to become one of us.
Jesus becomes us. So we can become the person Jesus wants us to be. And, when that happens, not only do we become the person that we want to be, but the person that other people need us to be.
Article supplied with thanks to Espresso Theology.
About the Author: Sam is a theologian, preacher, author, evangelist, ethicist, cultural analyst and medical doctor.