An interesting situation came about when I was reading a section of my book this morning. It had to do with the confess of a tennis player calling a ball out. The mental and conscience situation came about.
During the game the ball had gone over the players head into the corner of the court. The judge and the opponent were hindered from seeing the line. The player was not able to reach the ball and quickly yell; “out!”.
The opponent trusted the call and judge did not say anything. When the player turns around after the play and glances over at the judge, there is a stare, no words, but does he know?
The match goes on and nothing is said. Repeatedly, over and over in the players head the thought of “did the judge know that the ball was in and I cheated?”. This is a difficult question that does not go away. The next time the player sees the judge, is there a lack of trust? What has happened to the players integrity?
I find this situation more and more common in my own life and as I live with a teenager. We each make decisions and live by the circumstances. Our integrity is always with us as a measurement of who we are. When we know we are honest and did the right thing there is a peace when we need to explain situations or defend accusations. The difficult situations are when we are challenged in situations where we were not honest and truthful.
Is the sadness and discontent in “I’m sorry” really about the action taken or the sad concept that we were seen and called out? Is my son sorry he did something, or is he merely sorry he got caught? I know over the years I thought I was cleaver and I would be more sad of being caught than the actions.
Now days, transparency and integrity are of the highest virtues I know. I can truly say that when I do something inappropriate, it is quickly painful, even if no sees it. It is the actions that we need to be remorseful of, not whether someone knows. It is how we can be at peace with ourselves.
In that same book I pull out this nugget:
Conviction is not just the pain of getting caught or pain over consequences. It means a God-given, really sober sense of remorse over what I ought to feel remorseful about. It’s a God-given ache for goodness.