What is truth?
It’s easy to define but difficult to decipher at times.
Some definitions describe it as “candor,” “sincerity,” “genuine,” and “honesty.”
Billy Joel sang in a song that “honesty is such a lonely word – everyone is so untrue.”
Go back to President Richard Nixon and the way he tried to cover up his legendary fib. He left office in disgrace.
A falsehood resulted in Pete Rose, who is in my opinion the greatest baseball player of all time, being banned from Major League Baseball still today. He holds nearly every record in the Big Leagues, yet his plaque does not hang in the hallowed halls in Cooperstown, New York.
How about when President Bill Clinton defiantly wagged his finger in our face and proclaimed, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”? Remember that? A blue dress proved otherwise, and he was impeached by the House of Representatives.
Lance Armstrong strongly defended his seven Tour de France titles and announced, “I have never doped.” Wrong. Evidence stripped away his titles and reputation.
More recently, Jussie Smollett triggered a fierce social media storm when he allegedly lied and set himself up to be a victim of a racial hate crime. I suppose since our nation is experiencing fantastic economic growth and prosperity, he felt compelled to “manufacture” a lynching because he “goes hard against 45.” This is the current mood of the left-wing socialists right now. Seek, lie and destroy.
He was believable on Good Morning America until the facts were revealed.
I find it frightening that he may have used his acting skills to lie directly to the nation with such arrogance. If the allegations are true, he knew he was lying, and he intentionally fabricated the entire incident to make a sitting United States President look bad and boost his career.
He has two options now. 1) Tell the truth, take the consequences and move on and hope to avoid jail time. 2) Continue to mislead and play the role of the victim (which he appears to be leaning toward).
Dishonesty has been around since Adam was tempted by the serpent. Ordinary folks like you and me tell little lies as well as athletes, movie stars, Republicans, Democrats and Independents. But the art has been perfected by liberal Socialists.
One of the chapters in my book, Dugout Devotions: Inspirational Hits from MLB’s Best, deals with integrity and honesty in the world of baseball.
A few years ago, I went to Tampa, Florida to the New York Yankees spring training camp. I was set to hold an interview with Andy Pettitte, the left-handed pitcher who once survived a media frenzy.
In 2008, he faced heavy scrutiny after his name appeared in the Mitchell Report with accusations that he used Human Growth Hormones (HGH) the year before.
The six-foot five-inch lefty from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, made a public apology and took on some major blows from the relentless media in the Big Apple and across the nation.
“I just needed to come clean with it,” he told me in front of the dugout at George Steinbrenner Field. “I was having trouble sleeping at night.”
Six years before that, he suffered from Tendonitis in his elbow. In order to heal, his trainer injected him with HGH. The non-steroid was not banned until 2005, but it was looked upon as cheating.
He took it for two days, and again once in 2004, he told me. The second time he took it, he obtained it from his dad.
“I didn’t take it to cheat, I took it to heal my body,” he said. “I did it in a time when no one in the world knew I took it. But I knew, my father knew, and my Heavenly Father knew.”
That was enough for Andy. He had to let everyone know. He confessed.
He took the high road even though it could have a negative impact on his election into the Hall of Fame.
His career in the MLB speaks for itself. Andy achieved a total of 256 career wins and 163 losses. He posted an ERA of 3.65 and earned five World Series rings with the Yankees. He won the American League Championship Series MVP with the Yankees in 2001 and made the All-Star roster three times.
But more than the impressive statistics, he placed a higher value on truth.
He tossed aside the long-term career goal and focused on the catcher’s mitt of honesty.
Although Andy has his haters, he goes down as an All-Star in my book. I believed him because he had nothing to hide. His tone and conversation were sincere, and he opened up about what happened.
Truth is confusing today. In the case of Smollett and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (who accused US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct), both appeared to be honest. But when the facts emerged, a different perspective came to light.
The hardest part in revealing the facts is worrying about the consequences. There may be serious repercussions, perhaps a relationship break-up or a job loss. But it’s best to get them out in the open because keeping hidden secrets can cause health problems. Andy had trouble sleeping at night. There are documented cases where people develop ulcers and high blood pressure when they do not come clean with the details.
Integrity must be a part of the Christian journey. This doesn’t mean to blab everything you know but use discretion and discernment. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord. Those who tell the truth are his delight, and there are many benefits in pleasing God.
Do you have issues with telling the truth? I have at times. But I have also tried to learn and not make the same mistake twice.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8: 32)
I like the feeling of being free from the bondage of lies. You can too. Honesty and truth need to make a comeback, and Andy made a strong statement when he stood in front of the New York media and took responsibility for his actions.
Perhaps I need to send a copy of Dugout Devotions to Jussie Smollett with a bookmark at Chapter 9.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.
His first book — BUCKEYE BELIEVER - 40 Days of Devotions for The Ohio State Faithful —can be purchased on Amazon.