Answering trivia questions, amongst friends, in a living room, is one thing. Answering trivia questions, against competitors, on a nationally-televised game show, with money on the line, is something altogether different.
Thomas Hurley III learned that difference the hard way.
Jeopardy, the famous TV game show, hosts an annual tournament called Kids Week that pits young people against one another in a battle of the brains. One of the competitors in 2013 was Thomas Hurley III, a 12-year-old boy who was up against two other young people. During the “Final Jeopardy” stage of the game, the young contestants were asked a history question about Abraham Lincoln. The correct answer was “The Emancipation Proclamation.”
Hurley knew the right answer, so he wrote it down.
He misspelled the word “emancipation” by adding an additional/unnecessary “t” (emanciptation).
In a gut-wrenching scene played out in front of his family, a live studio, and a national audience, host Alex Trebek had to break the bad news to the youngster that the judges would not accept his answer as a correct one. Since Hurley had wagered $3,000 on his answer, his total was reduced from $9,600 to $6,600.
He’d have to settle for second place.
In interviews after the show, Hurley claimed he was “cheated” and that his mistake was “just a spelling error.” The gaff captured the attention of thousands of viewers who took to social media and other outlets to voice their opinions. They vented angry sentiments toward the show, the host, and the judges. Some labeled it a “bad call” while others pointed out that Jeopardy was never intended to be “a spelling bee.” The bantering forced executives to issue a statement defending their position which also outlined the standard of correct answers.
Bottom line: correct answers are correct…not mostly correct. Jeopardy’s standard is perfection.
So is God’s. He expects us to be perfect…not mostly perfect. Take a look at what His Word says in James 2:10.
Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
By the way, we’re not talking about a $3,000 penalty when we’re guilty of imperfection, either. God’s Word clearly says that our penalty is death.
Ouch! Talk about bad news….
But there’s good news, too. Though God will never lower His standards of perfection, what He has done is send His perfect Son Jesus to pay our penalty and make us perfect in His sight.
The only way to meet God’s standard of perfection is through Jesus.
Click here for the online report. (Special thanks to Jon Forrest from Ashland City, TN for this resource.)
Topics Illustrated Include:
(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)