Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Roger Clemens, Trainer McNamee, Steriods and LIES

I'm not much of a baseball fan. I think I prefer to watch paint dry. Roger Clemens is a name I have heard somewhere here and there. I have certainly not followed his career and know little or nothing about the man.

Roger Clemens is in a heap of trouble at this point in time. The trouble centers around whether or not Mr. Clemens chose injections of HGH (human growth hormone) or other steroids to enhance his performance as a baseball player.

I just watched a few minutes of the FOX News coverage of the live House hearing related to the accusations and their credibility. I have no idea where the truth lies or whether the real truth will ever be known.

There are, however, some very interesting and disturbing aspects to this situation. The trainer McNamee looks for all the world to me to be a lier who is almost enjoying the notoriety his lies are bringing to him and to his former client, Roger Clemens. In the space of less than five minutes watching these hearings, Rep. Dan Burton from Indiana brought up discrepencies in things Trainer McNamee has sworn to in statements. In each case, Rep. Burton read a statement (all of which run counter to what McNamee is now claiming) and asked, "Is this a lie?" Each time (almost with glee) McNamee asserted that "Yes, that was a lie but now isn't." (my words not his)

I look forward to catching one of the "body language pundits" on various news analysis programs and what he or she has to say about both Mr. Clemens' body language and McNamee's.

Whether Mr. Clemens used steroids or not speaks to his integrity as a professional athlete and there are certainly ramifications to his betraying that trust if he has. Many young girls and boys make heroes from sports figures. When one falls due to lack of integrity, it is a serious matter

If Mr. Clemens used steroids, then he is wrong and guilty as charged. He is also lying in the testimony he is giving to Congress and others. However, looking at the two men my guess is that Roger Clemens is the more credible. He certainly has the most to lose.

In earlier testimony according to FOX News, McNamee said, "I have no reason to lie, and every reason not to. If I do lie I will be prosecuted," he said. "All that I was ever told was to tell the truth to the best of my ability, and that is what I have done. I told the investigators that I injected three people, two of whom, I believe, confirm my account. The third is sitting at this table."

YET inside the space of less than five minutes, I heard McNamee confess to Congressman Burton over and over again that what he said before and what he was saying now are not the same and that he lied before but is telling the truth now. Congressman Burton read directly from transcripts statements McNamee once said and now denies as to their truthfulness. At the very least, McNamee is not a very credible witness nor is he very believable.

So, who is the liar? I certainly don't know. Maybe both men are not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Clearly - by his own admission McNamee is a liar over and over again.

However, the point of this post has nothing to do with baseball and steroids except as a focus for emphasis. The real point is that lies are destructive. Anyone can lie and destroy another's reputation. Once the lies are cast into the wind the damage is done.

Roger Clemens knows this. "No matter what we discuss here today, I am never going to have my name restored, but I've got to try and set the record straight," Clemens said with his chief accuser (Brian McNamee) sitting at the same table.

People who lie and destort truth to gain their own ends with no care for the destruction they do to the reputation of another person may never have to answer for their lies in this life. But God doesn't take such destructive lies lightly. God sees the heart. God knows the intent of the heart. The lying heart shows itself in lying words and actions. God says, "A good name is more desirable than great riches ... " (Prov. 22:1)

Regardless of how the congressional hearings conclude regarding Roger Clemens, he is probably correct that his name will be tainted with these accusations forever whether they are true or not.

Lies wreck awful destruction on the reputations and lives of people against whom they are directed! It is ugly and often unfair, but God is in the business of working ALL THINGS for our good and the ultimate glory of His kingdom.

God's grace is big enough for even the intentional and untrue destruction of a person's reputation. The consequences of such lies may be severe indeed. Those consequences may last for a lifetime, but the truth is that God's grace can bring beauty even from such ashes as a deliberately destroyed reputation.

God is in the business of building His Kingdom. To do so, He uses sinners every time. God can only use sinners who know their hearts are desperately in need of God's loving restoration. God uses sinners who have experienced God's grace and restoration to reach out to others with the message that God is in the business of restoration!

God is looking for hearts needing restoration. They are the building stones God will use to build His Kingdom here on earth.

No comments: