The 2016 Olympics in Rio have officially ended. Overall, fans were entertained by the wide range of exciting events, the US achieved great success by winning 121 medals, and many athletes experienced happiness while making their dreams came true.

Unfortunately, with all of the memorable moments making Olympic history, swimmer Ryan Lochte stole the most headlines. I’m sure you’ve heard the the bizarre story by now – the fake one and the real one. 

Originally, Lochte and his teammates reported they were robbed at gunpoint. However, after authorities dug deeper, details revealed the group was actually forced to pay for damages that occurred during a wild night of partying.

After many days of lying and fabricating facts of the account, Lochte finally admitted the truth in an interview with Matt Lauer. Thankfully he owned it by saying, “…that’s why I’m taking full responsibility for it. Because I over-exaggerated that story. And if I had never done that, we wouldn’t be in this mess…none of this would have happened. And it was my immature behavior.”

This entire situation is bad on many different levels, but the craziness provides a good reminder of what happens when the truth is exaggerated. Even though I believe Lochte totally blew it, I’m not going to attack him because I recognize how easily we can all get caught up in a lie if we aren’t careful.

Sometimes a small lie leads to a bigger lie. Sometimes we blow stories out of proportion because of the motives we have in mind. We may want something to appear much worse for our benefit or much better in order to boost ourselves up.

However, these benefits are only temporary because the truth eventually comes out, and destruction remains as a result of the lies.  As Ryan Lochte will most likely realize, it’s hard to overcome the repercussions that continue.

Thankfully, we can avoid going down the path of lying or over-exaggerating as we seek to please God and follow Jesus. By having a desire to honor God with our lives, we can pray the words found in Psalm 120:2 (ESV): “Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.”

We also need to cling to the 9th commandment in Exodus 20:16 (AMP): “You shall not testify falsely [that is, lie, withhold, or manipulate the truth] against your neighbor (any person).”

Our lives should reflect the truth we know in Jesus. The grace that has saved us, allows us to rest in our identity in Christ. We can be truthful as we struggle well, persevere, and honestly seek God.

Today, as we choose to be transparent with who we are and who we serve, let’s tell everyone about the real story that changes lives. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that my life would be represented by truth. I desire to live out the truth that is found in Your Word, and I acknowledge that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Please help me to be honest with others about who I truly am, and be willing to share my struggles and weaknesses. I thank you that I can be truthful and rest in the grace found in Jesus. In His name I pray, Amen.