Butler County Times Gazette
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Learning from Lance
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By Corey Landreth
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Oct. 12, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Lance Armstrong is back in the news but its the same old story.  Doping.  No it doesn't mean that he was smoking dope, weed or Mary Jane.  In the sports world it refers to any number of performance enhancing substances designed to give you a physical edge over your opponents.  This time though the prosecution comes with eye-witness accounts from Armstrong's team-mates and lots and lots of documentation.

Now, I don't want to presume him guilty, I'll let the people who are making the claims do that but the pressure and the evidence are mounting against Lance.  And although he still fiercely maintains his innocence I would imagine that the truth will come out perhaps sooner rather then later.

Here's the deal.  When you beat as many people as he has as much as he has someone is going to cry foul.  They will say things like, "no one can be that good."

So here's the problem in Armstrong's situation.  He denies his guilt.  I imagine that if it's possible, he'll claim innocence to the grave, regardless of what his closest and most trusted "friends" are saying.  And there's the problem.  We'll take honesty over perfection any day.

Many Christians have believed for a very long time that they, like Lance, have needed to claim innocence even in the midst of obvious guilt.  We'll make some excuse or reason why we "had" to do what we did and say things like, "I didn't mean to do it" thinking that motive or mitigating factors lessen our guilt or responsibility.  But the truth is people just want us to be honest.  If you fall.  If you fail.  Own it.

Here's what I tell the folks at Real Life.  If you are trying to live out your walk with Christ and you mess up, you tell a dirty joke (or laugh at one!) or you let some @#%$! words fly, don't just jump back up on your high-horse and blame your co-workers for your failure, go to them and say, "I'm Sorry.  I'm trying to live differently now and I failed.  I'll probably fail again, even though I don't want to."  An apology for not living up to your own expectations - offered out of HUMILITY will go a long way in helping your co-workers, family, friends or neighbors understand that your new life in Christ is a process and that you want to succeed.

The worst thing we do as Christians is pretend like we're perfect and that everyone else is at fault if we fail.

If it turns out that Lance has been involved in the most intricate and covert doping cover-up in sports history he'll look like a fool and honestly, I hope they take away every win he received.  Not as punishment for his win, but as punishment for his lies.  If he's innocent, I'll be the first to cheer him on.

Believers know this, you're not perfect.  You're going to mess up and fall both publicly and privately.  Own it before your friends, family and co-workers and own it before God.  Seek restoration and reconciliation from those around you and from God.  Get out of the saddle and see what it's like to walk in frail honesty for awhile.  You'll find it's a lot more freeing than trying to be perfect and finding someone to blame when you're not.





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