Any of you who follow this blog notice that I tend to focus on Bible, morality, Christian life, and sports. This post will encompass a blend of them all.
Since the news of Michael Phelps’ bong-smoking photo has come public, I’ve considered writing a blog post and publishing my own opinions on his chosen extra-curricular activities. Today, on the Sovereign Grace Blog, C. J. Mahaney offers his views on Phelps’ behavior. In the article, he also references a Michael Wilbon (of the Washington Post and Pardon the Interruption (PTI) on ESPN) editorial dated today. I appreciate both C. J. Mahaney’s and Michael Wilbon’s opinions on the subject and recommend that you read both posts.
Phelps has publically apologized, and rightly so. He’s now competed in the last two summer Olympics wearing the uniform of the United States of America and owes the country for whom he has represented an explanation. Thank you, Michael, for admitting your error. The mere fact that you’ve owned your error and have apologized has put you far above many of your sports-star colleagues: Pete Rose (the book doesn’t count – he’s made money off that), Barry Bonds (allegedly), Marion Jones, and the list is endless. At least you’ve had the guts to own your mistake.
Forgiveness is both of God and from God. I have been forgiven and I can forgive you, Mr. Phelps. I refuse; however, to give you a “pass” as many media personalities and journalists have publically chosen to do these past few days. This activity, coupled with the drunk driving charge in ’04 that Michael Wilbon referenced, cannot be chalked up to immaturity or youth, but rather poor judgement. If you are 23 now, then you would have been 18 in 2004, thus BOTH actions are both immoral AND, above all, illegal. One could be passed off as immature: two such actions cannot.
Mr. Phelps, I do hope that you learn from this and are able to correct your ways. I hope that you recognize your sins, find mercy and grace in Jesus, repent and become reconciled to God. The void in us all cannot be filled by any other activity, substance, or possession: only in a reconciled relationship with our Lord, Savior, and creator, Jesus Christ.