Lance Armstrong. The most popular name in cycling (and sport inspiration) has come clean about blood doping and cheating during his career as a cyclist. He has been stripped of his 7 Tour De France victories, and has been banned from elite level competition.
I watched the interview with Oprah earlier this week. I saw a man whose world had crumbled around him. His “ego” had won for so long. He seemed to have justified his actions in his own mind, which is probably how you can go on for so long living a lie that large. People were taken to court for telling the truth about the situation, families were hurt, and Armstrong had to fight the UCI his whole career.
It is easy to look at someone like Armstong and dismiss him as a liar and a cheater. That has been the overwhelming response I have seen online; people are angry at Lance. People who dont know him from any other guy on the street have crucified him. Americans do not like traitors or cheaters. We stand with righteous anger at those who “break the rules” and call out sins from our high tower.
The real truth is… I am just as bad as Lance Armstrong (and so are you).
We don’t want think like that (maybe your sins and lies are less “out there”). We see the best side of ourselves and the worst of others. It reminds me of the verse in Matthew 7 that says
4Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
We like to judge other people’s flaws. It is probably a mixture of human nature, social media, and 24 hour news and television coverage. At some point, you just start talking about people. However, talking about people you don’t actually know with authority like you do can be dangerous. In the end it only leads to pride.
There are people who I trust to speak truth into my life. They are people who know me and love me, not some random person on twitter with an opinion.
This is where it gets tricky. Lance Armstrong did some bad things; I don’t think anyone (including lance) would deny that. You and I, however, do not get to play judge and jury over his life. Especially without considering the depth of deceit and wickedness in our own lives. We are not God; we can’t see someone’s heart.
So, before you go off the handle at some like Armstrong, Obama, or insert any well know person you may be upset with, make sure to check your motivation and heart. Are you seeking to understand and love that person? Are your comments directed to help or hurt? Could there be more to the situation than you know? These are questions I need to ask myself more as well; because judging people is about the easiest thing I can do.
Let’s take the extra time, thought, and care to go the extra mile before we throw someone under the bus. Let’s look to the planks in our own lives before we go off on someone we don’t even know.