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When a Teammate Cheats


Of course you want your team to win. But what do you do when someone on your team is cheating?


This happens all the time in youth sports. It may seem like a petty problem, but it isn't. Cheating is a serious problem at any age. If it isn't nipped in the bud, dishonesty will grow and enlarge until it impacts everything from businesses to homes to entire countries.


We know we're not supposed to lie and deceive (Leviticus 19:11). God really hates dishonesty (Proverbs 11:1). He never permits us to cheat anyone (1 Thessalonians 4:6,7). It's better to lose with honor and honesty, than to win by cheating (Proverbs 16:8).


So what can a child do if a teammate is being unsportsmanlike to try to get an edge? Ideas:


n       If it's a team sport in which individual scores are kept, say, golf, and the teammate is shaving strokes, you could suggest privately to the coach (without tattling) that players could keep score for each other in practice and competitions.

n       If it's a football player taking illegal steroids to try to gain weight and strength, a fellow player must tell the coach immediately, because there are serious health hazards involved.

n       If a teammate is using illegal equipment, such as a souped-up softball bat or soccer shoes with concealed metal, point it out privately to the player; perhaps he or she didn't know the rule. If nothing changes, then report it. But give your teammate a chance to make it right; then you'll both win in the game of life.



By Susan Darst Williams Heart Lessons 009 2006


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