By the time you read this, the World Cup may well be long over – the Germans having beaten someone on penalties. Most of us will have forgotten about tennis for another year and the Football League season could have been running for several weeks. However, even if all those things have happened, Luis Suarez will still be suspended from all football anywhere in the world.
At the time of writing, Suarez has just returned home to Uruguay, having been kicked out of the World Cup for biting an opponent. A lot has been said about what Luis Suarez has done and there have been mixed emotions expressed. I suspect that this could be said ‘not to be the right attitude’, but part of me wishes that he had had his rush of blood when Uruguay played Cost Rica as he might then have been unable to play against England and so wouldn’t have been able to score twice. We would then have qualified from the group and gone on to win the World Cup. Well one can dream.
This is not the first time that Luis Suarez has bitten an opponent – behaviour one associates with nursery age children, rather than with a grown man. Perhaps his ‘previous’ gave rise to the 4 month ban, which some have considered harsh. His grandmother has suggested that he has been ‘treated like a dog’, but perhaps dogs that bite are treated more leniently in Uruguay than they are in the UK.
Wrong-doing on a football pitch is not always treated as one might expect. Shirt-pulling – which hinders an opponents movement – is often ignored, while spitting at an opposition player is considered despicable and treated severely. Contrast this with much smaller bans handed out for foul tackles which have broken opponent’ legs, or with the sentence of 15 months given to Diego Maradona for failing a drugs test.
Christian people often have similarly warped ideas of justice when it comes to which sins are worse than others. While it may not work in a court of law, or on a football field, should Christian people not make it their policy not to judge between sins on the basis that ‘a miss is as good as a mile’ and ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).