I keep the scorebook for the Portland High School JV boy’s basketball team, and sometimes the varsity as well. A couple of Saturdays ago, the boys were playing JV and varsity games at Trinity Whitesville, near Owensboro, Kentucky. Just before the start of the second half of the JV game, the home scorekeeper told me she had made a mistake on the possession arrow. She had forgotten to switch it at the start of the second quarter. The possession arrow erroneously indicated it would be PCHS’ ball to start the third quarter.
At the time, our JV was behind by 8 points and getting the ball to start the half could make a big difference. I told her she should switch the arrow and award the ball to Trinity. She was shocked! “But that’s not to your advantage.” she said. “No, but it’s far more important to do the the right thing.” I replied. She just could not get over the idea that I was not as concerned about winning as about doing the right thing.
While a relatively minor item, being honest starts with the little things. Luke 16:10 says, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” It’s not so often the “big sin” that gets us but the accumulation of all the small ones. Those little white lies can be so easily spoken. Shading the truth for even what seems to be at the time a good reason can be the beginning of our destruction. Heb. 12:1 says, “…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Our battle is not one quarter or even one half. It’s a full length, full court, contest. One that can only be won by depending upon Him. Remember Heb. 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Let’s remember our big brother has shown us the perfect way.
In case you’re wondering, the JV lost the game by about 20 points. The varsity won by nearly the same margin. Late in the first half, with the score still close, the home scorekeeper lost track of how many fouls a player had. She asked me how many I showed on him and, without hesitating, changed the official scorebook to my figure. I guess honesty IS the best policy, after all.