Well what can one say? The Australian Cricket team has brought disaster on themselves and probably to a lot of other Aussies – all I can say as a cricket enthusiast that we here in Australia are disappointed to say the least and devastated that some now think of Aussies as cheats and con artists.
Cricket, the gentleman’s game has been dragged though the South African mud and three of our bigger players have been sent home in disgrace and suspended for indefinite times from playing the game they love.
If you hadn’t heard yet, which is unlikely, but the Aussies were caught ‘red handed’ ball tampering and using sand paper, of all things, to ‘rough up’ the ball so it would either have to be replaced or would cause the South African Team to miss hit.
Steve Smith the Captain, David Warner Vice Captain and the bowler Cameron Bancroft apparently all knew what was due to happen when Bancroft went out to bowl – the sandpaper given to him by Warner with the OK from Smith.
It was all very sad for the whole game of cricket with all three sent home separately with Smith being jostled and abused as he left Cape Town – everything fell apart for them and the team and actually for Australia.
At the press conference held upon landing in Australia, Smith was distraught in tears as he apologised to the nation for his action and he asked for forgiveness.
So how should we react to this?
I am so reminded of what Jesus said when confronted with the crowd wanting to stone a woman supposedly for being taken in adultery – As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on that one – I can imagine what it was like in those days – poor girl probably was being abused – but that is just my opinion.
Anyway the crowd was so intent on stoning the lass, all they could see was revenge and the fact that they could judge her. Also they desperately wanted to try to ‘trip’ Jesus and goad Him into making a decision which they knew didn’t include killing the girl.
It’s a bit like what is happening here in Australia at the moment – so many people wanting to pass judgement on our three wayward boys of cricket and so so ready to ‘stone’ them or at least string them up.
I really feel the apology came from the heart of the three guys involved – but it still makes me wonder would they have owned up had they not been caught.
Again, this brings me to my life, so may times I have messed up, so many times I have seemingly ‘got away with it’ – But have I really?
God gives us an amazing thing called a conscience, and when that conscience is ruled by the Holy Spirit, then that is when you are in a situation where you HAVE to do something about the mess you have made.
The amazing part about all of this is that Jesus through His Spirit will guide you through the dark times and give you courage and boldness that you never thought you even possessed.
I have personally been in that situation many times and can vouch to the fact that indeed Jesus through His Spirit can and will guide you – You still have to pass through the hard times but He will definitely see you through it – Praise God for this.
So where does that leave us with our three delinquent cricketers?
Going back to our story of Jesus and the mocking crowd and the woman taken in adultery. Jesus’ answer floored the crowd – “he who is without sin, cast the first stone” – not one was game enough to pick up a single stone not one!
So how can we not forgive after that? Are any one of us ready to pick up a stone? How can we in all conscience not give these guys our forgiveness?
Of course they will all have to carry the fact of what they did and cop the whole consequences of the incident on the chin. They may never live it down not ever.
So it is, when we mess up our lives – some of the decisions we make could have dire effects on us for our entire lives, but the amazing part of being a Christian is that we have the mighty forgiveness of God if we come to Him and truly repent and begin to walk with Him wherever He leads us in the future.
We can start again with Jesus our King and Saviour, who paid the price for our sin way back on calvary all those years ago.
Putting the past behind us and accepting that Jesus has paid the price for all of our mess-ups is just so encouraging and helps us to move forward in our lives regardless of what we have done or where we have been.
I really trust that you will try to put the past behind you this week, especially if you are carrying around a burden on your own shoulders that is becoming increasingly hard to bear.
Jesus wants to be your burden-bearer. After all that is why he died so cruelly for us all – to take our burdens and help us to re-start our lives with Him.
Promise me you will at least think about what is happening in your life and if you are really troubled and burdened, please give it Jesus – you may still have to live with the consequences but your actual burden will be released as you accept the forgiveness of God and the mighty restoring power of the crucified Jesus, who paid your penalty for you.
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