Through week one of the Olympics, there has been no lack of controversy. Even before the opening ceremonies, there was a mix-up at a women’s soccer game: The South Korean flag was displayed for the North Korean team, who refused to start the game because of the perceived snub. Then there was a controversy in the boxing ring, as it appeared a fight’s outcome may have been rigged. And we can’t forget the badminton controversy where players tried to lose certain matches in order to improve their chances in the next round of matches. The flag mix-up was a simple, though unfortunate, error. The other two matters, however, speak to the issue of integrity. Olympic boxing, already with a black eye because of past controversial decisions, is on thin ice. And 8 badminton players have been expelled from the Olympics and sent home, tainting the results that will come for that sport. It has been a rough start for the London Games.
In life as well as sports, integrity is a critical issue. In Psalm 26:1, David wrote, “Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering” (NLT).
In this psalm, Israel’s king makes a significant connection for us. He reminds us that integral to a life of integrity is a heart of faith that is committed to the true and living God. As we put our confidence in Him, integrity results because we feel no pressure to engineer the results of life’s events. Our ability to rest in Him enables us to have a clear conscience in what we do—and a clear conscience will rarely stir up unwanted controversy.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain