I`ve just enjoyed an evening of total dishonesty and cheating AND I don`t feel guilty about it at all !
As long as we have been married Alison has complained that I regularly win at Scrabble. Scrabble is a game I learnt from my Mum (although I suspect now that some of her tactics were dubious !) and have enjoyed throughout my life; whilst not a Scrabble champion I am reasonably good at it and even enjoy playing it by myself. Consequently, although she wins sometimes, Alison is usually on the losing end of a game.
For my birthday last week she bought me a variation on the game, whereby players can legitimately cheat ! She declared that this would even the playing field and she would stand a chance of winning. Tonight was the first time we sat down and played Scrabble Trickster………………………………
It was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, although I did feel guilty on the times I cheated; especially when I `stole` Alisons score of 49 for myself ! However, I didn`t feel guilty for too long.
In many ways the concept of cheating turns the Christian principles upside down and goes against all that Scripture teaches us. Scripture says that we should always seek the best for the other person, put them first before ourselves; we shouldn`t deceive in order to gain an advantage and we shouldn`t gloat in our victories. And yet here is a game (and I can remember a similar card game called `cheat`) in which we`re actively encouraged to do exactly that: decieve the other person in order to win.
Thankfully this is just a game but in life there are many who practise cheating and twisting the truth in order to gain an advantage which will put them ahead of their field or make them more money etc. In football we have seen the rise of the cheating mentality whereby players think nothing of diving or falling too easily in order to gain a free kick or penalty. In business it’s considered normal to use underhand tactics. Just today in politics David Cameron’s media guru, Andy Coulson, has resigned because of ongoing allegations about phone tapping from his time in the News of the World paper (which he has strenuously denied knowing anything about). Phone tapping, leaks, diving, financial irregularities are all too common in the world today and Jesus calls on his followers to rise above it all; to treat others fairly, to be responsible towards them, to take care of orphans and widows, heal the sick, look after the oppressed, be the voice for those who have no voice and so on. Christians are called to think differently to the world. Romans chapter 12 verse 2 challenges us not to conform to this world but to be transformed in our thinking; transformed by the Holy Spirit so that our lives are lived in a fitting way bringing glory to Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
I hope and pray that my life does precisely that.
p.s. I beat Alison by 333 points to 102 !!