I can remember as a young child sometimes I would do something mischievous and if I immediately confessed it I would not be punished by my parents but they gave me no quarter if I was found to be lying.
Time and time again we see people who fail to learn from that time tested principle. The latest example possibly being the case for Chicago Cubs starting shortstop, Addison Russell.
Russell has been accused of physically assaulting his former wife. Russell has vehemently denied the allegation in the sternest fashion. Much like when baseball player Rafael Palmerio did when he testified before Congress about his alleged performance enhancing drug (PED) use. It was later revealed that Palmerio had in fact used PED. Palmerio retired with some of the most majestic baseball stats but will likely never make it to the Hall of Fame (HOF) due to his confirmed cheating.
Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader, will likely never make it to the HOF because he was found to have bet on baseball and spent well over a decade denying it even in the face of overwhelming evidence. He is one of few big-leaguers banned from the sport he played.
Americans in particulars, and humans in general, have been found to be forgiving people when an individual quickly acknowledges their wrong doing. Most reasonable people understand that no one is perfect and none of us like in glass houses. Generally, we find it in our best interest to forgive others because we realize our day for the need of forgiveness will quickly be upon us.
Now back to Russell. He was placed on paid leave by Major League Baseball (MLB) while his ex-wife’s allegations are being investigated. Ken Rosenthal, a very prominent and respected baseball reporter for Fox Sports, reported this week an unnamed source from MLB indicated there is substantial evidence that Russell had indeed physically assaulted his ex-wife.
While physical assault toward anyone is a serious matter and the guilty should face the full weight of the law, there is still room for redemption and reconciliation. Maybe not with the person alleged to be assaulted but with society in general.
We love redemption stories as we should. A person who exhibits an anti-social behavior traits but seeks help through means like counseling can be and should be accepted back into the community. All of us are recipient of forgiveness at some point in our life. We all have transgressed some one in some space, form or fashion.
The nobility and necessity to forgive would appear to be not only a Christian virtue but a human virtue as well. Yet, for forgiveness to work both sides have to keep their end of the bargain. The offender has to demonstrate sincere contrition as opposed to attrition. Attrition is remorse one demonstrates because they are embarrassed for how the transgression makes them look to others. Contrition is genuine sorrow for the wrong done with the offended party or parties being the chief concern. This is especially pertinent for Evangelicals as we recognize every offense against our fellow man is ultimately an offense against God Himself.
Only time will reveal the alleged evidence which purports to demonstrate convincingly that Russel is guilt as charged. If this is found to be the case then that changes dramatically how society will judge Russell since he has so adamantly denied the charge.
The moral to the story is the truth is always the preferred route. The sooner the better and the more sincere and direct the repentance makes it even better. Especially forgiveness that is not vague and generalized the way people like to employ nowadays. You know the “if I offended anyone I am sorry” lame apology people attempt to offer.
I readily grant telling the truth can be wrought with awkwardness and extreme unease. I know this from personal experience as I am sure many of the readers will readily attest. As I often say, “Pay now or Pay Later.” Yet pay we will.
Ultimately no one escapes the site judgment of God in the eschaton. As God tells the Church of Corinthians it is preferable we judge our sin before God has to deal with the matter.
Thankfully true Evangelicals can rest in the truth that Christ has borne our sins on Calvary Cross. We are spared the judgement to come.
As a means of expressing our extreme gratitude Evangelicals devote their remaining days to honoring God’s gift by seeking to always be people of the truth. The Bible regards the church as the Pillar of Truth.
I am seeking to live in the fidelity to Christ’s expectation. I trust my fellow Evangelical brethren who read this post do as well.
I welcome your feedback. Keep your hands to the plow!