While Australia’s success at the Commonwealth Games has taken the heat out of our test cricketers recent dismal loss in South Africa, “cricket tragics” like myself are still in shock over the debacle that was the ball-tampering affair.
It’s just not cricket! What is supposed to be the “gentlemen’s game” (I do acknowledge that women, too, are very much involved) has devolved into a “win at any cost” affair. This disappoints me. Indeed, it distresses me.
The bottom line now seems to be “whatever it takes”. Cheating, corruption and fraud are seen as useful, indeed key, tools in achieving outcomes. Today we witness this, not only in the field of sport, but in business, government and in the media.
The current Banking Royal Commission is opening a Pandora’s Box as allegations of graft, misconduct and forgery in the financial services industry are being made.
Meanwhile, the Australian Tax Office is now under pressure with allegations concerning the use of “ruthless” tactics towards more vulnerable small business owners while recent claims in the public service has resulted in the call for a national anti-corruption commission.
I believe there are issues of accountability here. In a world where the principle focus is on the individual, the idea of being accountable to others or indeed, to being accountable to a higher authority goes out the window.
In a “dog-eats-dog”, “whatever it takes,” world what matters most is one’s own self-interest. What is of ultimate concern is one’s own self-preservation, prosperity and success.
But this is not the case for Christians. We believe in a higher authority to whom we are accountable. And this authority is Jesus Christ whose life, death and resurrection is freely offered, not for his own ends, but for the restoration, the wellbeing and the renewal of the whole creation.
Here we are to put Christ first in everything. And this means we are to listen to Jesus’ words, we are to take note of what Jesus calls us to do and we are to take upon ourselves a “Christ-like” attitude towards others.
Lying, cheating, misrepresenting the truth, indeed doing “whatever it takes”, fails to honour Christ. It subverts what God intends. It shows contempt for what God has done.
So, let’s live life fair and square. For this is what Jesus requires. As followers of Christ let us heed the call!
Rev John Barr