"For we are not peddlers of God's word, like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence."
(2 Corinthians 2:17)
Yesterday news broke about Notre Dame football standout Manti Te'o. The details are still a bit fuzzy, but it appears he's the victim of a relationship scam/hoax. Last fall, both his grandmother and girlfriend died on the same day - his girlfriend from leukemia. It was a major news story all over the country - including a cover story from Sports Illustrated.
Yesterday it was revealed that he'd been tricked. He had an online relationship with a girl he'd never met. Turns out she never actually existed. At least not the girl he thought he was in a relationship with! Someone was "playing him" the whole time. At least that's how ND and Te'o are spinning it.
Now, I have no reason to doubt Manti. Plus, he's from Hawaii, so I want to believe the best. But there are a TON of issues that are raised here - including honesty, integrity & sincerity. Some have wondered if Manti got caught up in the "glow of media attention" and embellished this online relationship into something it (literally) wasn't. Let's hope it wasn't an intentional move on his part to be deceptive.
The Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, speaks about personal integrity and sincerity... how he didn't come to them trying to "sell God" to them (to pad his own bank account!). Instead, he came, having been "sent from God and studying in his presence." As fascinating as the Manti Te'o saga is, what really should matter to me is how I live my life - especially as a husband, father, and pastor. Am I perfect? Heck no! Do I sin & fall short of God's expectations of me? Yep. Nevertheless, I'm called to be a person of sincerity and integrity... especially when it comes to my faith.
I'm going to be praying for Manti, his family, and all those involved in perpetrating this incredible hoax. I invite you to join me. And while you're at it, pray for me, too. (Thanks!)