In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
If God doesn’t change your inside, you’re living by appearances.
BEN JOHNSON's was the most spectacular case of "doping" in recent years.
We all know how he won the 100m race in the Seoul Olympics, only to be disqualified for using forbidden substances to enhance muscular development. Johnson's punishment was one of the most important in the history of athletics.
Everything seemed to be going well, but in reality Ben had fallen foul of the rules. The hopes of thousands of people who had idolised Ben Johnson were dashed. But idols always fall sooner or later.
Many may have discovered that day, that the world is run by a system that stands on two feet: appearances and idol-worship. From then on many searched for a new idol to worship blindly, until some day they will discover that it, too, is all an illusion.
So, today's society is based on appearances and success. The more successful you are and the better you can fake it - however hollow you may be inside - the more people will idolise you.
We have a "world record mentality". It doesn't matter what you do or how useful you are, as long as you're a success.
Books are written about unusual world's records (the greatest number of sausages eaten in one minute; the person who can fit most bricks into their mouth; the person who can sleep the most hours on a banister, etc).
People care about success, of any kind. We haven't yet learned that failure can be a good friend. Some people who have failed in the eyes of society are those who have actually changed the world.
If you compare the life of Jesus with today's norms, you might think he was a failure. He preached for only three years, in a very small country, and was murdered young.
But that one life had a greater impact on the world than all the "winners" in history put together. Jesus himself taught that you can't judge by appearances alone. You can't clean the outside of the cup and leave it empty.
He taught that you couldn't put a new patch on an old garment. If God doesn't change your inside, you're living by appearances. And appearances, quick success, idols andthe other things we sometimes trust in.