Articles by Stan Dean

Reminiscing About Rio

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I really enjoyed the Olympic Games that took place in Rio, Brazil recently and actually miss them now that they are over. For two weeks when we got the chance to watch TV at our house we watched some Olympic event. The Americans did so well and certainly rekindled our national pride.

But as it is with most things, there is a tint of bad that goes along with the good- - and this event was no exception. By now, surely you have heard the story of a talented American swimmer by the name of Ryan Lochte and three of his teammates. In short, they went out drinking one night in Rio, which led to some more dumb actions like vandalizing a gas station in the wee hours of the morning. Further, they tried to cover up their actions by concocting a story about being held up at gunpoint. Their story did not hold up, though, when video cameras and witnesses revealed what really happened.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, has since gone public and apologized for his indiscretions, but claims that the incident was “blown out of proportion.” Was it? Who knows- - but it will be one of those things that is sure to follow him from now on.

Thinking about this ordeal, I believe there are some lessons Mr. Lochte should have learned- - and the rest of us too!

1. Alcohol never leads us to make good decisions; only foolish ones. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).
2. Bad decisions never pay; they always cost. Mr. Lochte lost millions of dollars in endorsements because of his actions. “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
3. You cannot cover up your sins. As God’s people were warned in the long ago, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Leviticus 32:23).
4. Honesty really is the best policy! What Lochte and his friends did was wrong. However, if they had come clean up front without trying to cover up their deeds, the outcome would have been better. “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

If we discipline ourselves and heed this advice, the outcome will lead to pure gold (cf. Revelation 21:21).

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