He had it all – fame, power, a brotherhood, and the best endorsement anyone can imagine. And yet, because of his poor choices, a series of bad decisions, he lost it all. Of course, I’m talking about Judas Iscariot. Why? Did you think this was another Ryan Lochte article?
Ok. Perhaps the description was misleading. But almost two thousand years before Ryan Lochte was born, those words could have been spoken of Judas. In fact, the Bible records Judas as one of a very important group of twelve.
Judas was among the twelve who performed miracles; he acted under the authority of Jesus; and he declared the Kingdom was at hand (Matthew 10:1-6; Mark 6:7). He appeared to have the endorsement of Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. Yet he threw it all away over a few bad decisions in the last week of his life.
Ryan Lochte is in a bad spot right now. He made a series of mistakes in the last week of the Olympics. Because of his drunken misconduct and lies, Lochte may have ended his career. At the very least, he damaged his name and lost several lucrative endorsements – over $1 million!
We have all faced disappointment. And sometimes we react badly. When Lochte’s big race came, he was disappointed. Not only did he lose to Michael Phelps, but he didn’t even get a medal! So he went out to “blow off some steam,” and he behaved badly.
I won’t excuse it. But I understand it. He can even be forgiven, since he apologized and asked for forgiveness. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any consequences. Companies don’t want their name associated with the kind of behavior Lochte modeled.
But, if you are a Christian, there is a far greater endorsement that we would never want to lose. Jesus has endorsed you. He placed His good name and reputation on the line for you. As Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” Don’t lose your endorsement. Jesus knows you will not be perfect, but He expects His disciples to strive for better behavior (Colossians 3:5-11).
“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him…”