Deflate-gate. For those who follow NFL football, the deflated football discovery in the Patriots/Colts game has created quite the stir. Eleven of the twelve Patriots’ footballs were below the acceptable air pressure—giving the Patriots certain advantages in the game—but no one has been able to pinpoint how they came to be that way. That’s the world of entertainment for you.
I’m not accusing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady of cheating, but given the Patriots track record, it’s no surprise that a lot of people find it difficult to buy their story of supposed ignorance.
Why Does Cheating Bother Us?
But, we must ask, why does it even matter? Why would anyone care about alleged cheating on the part of the Pats? It seems that an anomaly of evolution (sarcasm intended) has left humanity with a deep-seated sense of justice. Even from a young age, we cry foul when apparently unjust circumstances cost us in some way.
Justice matters to us because justice matters to God. The Bible teaches us that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne (Psalms 89:14; 97:2). In the eyes of eternity, cheaters are losers.
What is it that compels a person to cheat? Money? Fame? The need to be in control? We cheat when our human desires override the image of God in which we’ve been created. But regardless of the reasoning, cheaters lose even when they win.
The Law of Sowing and Reaping
It is a universal law that we will reap whatever we sow (Galatians 5:7-8). The deceptive thing about this unbreakable law is that what we reap doesn’t always look exactly like what we sow. The Patriots, for instance, cheated in the past and yet they continued to win games. You can be sure, however, that the poisonous fruit of their transgressions would have surfaced in other ways—broken and dysfunctional family relationships, for example. We can cheat people, but we can’t cheat the law of sowing and reaping. If we sow human sin, we will reap human dysfunction.
Neither can we cheat eternity. A misunderstanding of God’s grace and love often leads people to spurn His ways based on the premise that God is loving and forgiving. They fail to realize that the Creator of the Universe is also just.
Every Secret Will Be Made Public
On one fateful day, every hidden deed will be broadcast into the light (Matthew 10:26). Those who thought they “got away” with their sins will suddenly realize that they got away with nothing. In that day, a cheater’s trophy will become an object of deep regret as earthly wins become eternal losses.
The cross of Jesus Christ provides the only means for us to truly move beyond our cheating ways. Jesus suffered an unjust death as the sacrificial Lamb of God so that the just penalty for our sins would be forever paid. Those who wish to be eternal winners have no other recourse but to confess their transgressions, exercise faith in Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross, and turn from their cheating ways.
Regardless of what the NFL decides, if Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were guilty of cheating in the deflate-gate scandal, they’ll be losers even if they win the Super Bowl. Cheaters are always losers.