Cheaters Never Win

Recently, New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was caught in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox with pine tar on his neck that he was using to help control the ball. However, pine tar is a banned substance within the game of baseball; quite frankly, while many try to use it without being caught and most managers and players look the other way as if it were an unwritten rule of conduct, it does not change the fact that it is a violation of rules. It is simply cheating.


Cheating? Do Cheaters Win?

He is the latest in a long line of cheaters before him. Joel Peralta was the last Major League Baseball player to get caught in 2012. Yet, according to an article by Mike Oz for Yahoo Sports, other famous baseball pitchers to try to cheat include Joe Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Kevin Gross, Brian Moehler and Kenny Rogers; yet, these are just pitchers. Need we introduce the names of Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, Sammy Sosa or Ryan Braun? Should we mention Clint Boyer cheating in NASCAR? Should even introduce Olympic athletes who have been caught cheating, like Marion Jones and Ben Johnson for testing positive for steroids? Do we remember Danny Almonte in the Little League World Series lying about his age (or Chinese gymnasts)? In 1980, Rosie Ruiz was infamous for cheating in the Boston Marathon. Certainly, those of us who live in Texas know the name Lance Armstrong real well (but we could add Floyd Landis as well)! Players are not immune; what about coaches? As a Memphis Tiger fan, I am ashamed of the cheating with which John Calipari almost got away, and Bill Belichick (and his staff) has been caught spying/recording other teams. As one writer wrote, they went from being champions to cheaters, from the hall of fame to the hall of shame!

I remember the old axiom: “Cheaters never win, and winners never cheat!” One may say, “Yes, but look at these athletes before they were caught cheating—they were successful!” Sure, they may have won then, but as we look at them today, most of them are unfortunately not winners any longer—many of them were disgraced. Oftentimes, we see the powers that be (whether MLB, NFL, NHL, IOC, or sometimes, even the US government itself) strip them of any recognition, as well as all awards won. Thus, cheaters never win.

One might add, “Well, what about those who get away with it and are never caught?” It is certainly true that many cheaters get by with their cheating ways, but I assure us all that there is one who is mightier than we are who sees all! He will judge in the last day (John 12:48; Rev. 20:12), and in that judgment, He will bring retribution upon all who acted honestly and fairly among those who cheat (cf. Matt. 12:41-42). I assure all readers that “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecc. 12:14).

The Bible is clear: “…be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). It may not be in this life, but it will in the Judgment Day yet to come (2 Cor. 5:10)! May we all seek the forgiveness of God by repenting of our sins and responding appropriately to His grace!

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