Lance Armstrong and the power of forgiveness

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When it became apparent Tiger Woods cheated on his wife, Fox News commentator Brit Hume suggested he seek forgiveness from Jesus Christ.

Woods, a Buddhist, opted for forgiveness from the public.

He held an overly-prepared press conference that made his contriteness seem less than authentic.

“I am deeply sorry,” the king of golf repeatedly said as he stared into the lens of a television camera.

For his advice, Hume received hoards of criticism, primarily from far left activists.

But Hume was right. Asking for forgiveness from the public – as necessary as it may be in this day and age – does not absolve us from our sins. Only Jesus Christ can do that.

People used to acknowledge the importance of going to confession and asking for forgiveness from God directly. But now, we simply seek forgiveness from man, a creature scarred by original sin.

Enter Lance Armstrong.

His confession to Oprah Winfrey is emblematic of this strange new reality.

Armstrong, who in the past has expressed doubts about the existence of God, told Winfrey that he used performance enhancing drugs to help his career.

I’ll let you be the judge of Armstrong’s sincerity, but what he needs to realize is that coming clean to the public does not exonerate him from his past, spiritually speaking.

His actions destroyed people’s lives, reputations and their dignity. And for what? Money and a fleeting sense of happiness. Two things that in the long run don’t amount to anything.

No matter how many mountains we climb, trophies we win or championships we claim, all of that pales in comparison to what Christ did for us.

That’s not to suggest those things are unimportant, but so long as we pursue earthly desires by any means necessary, we will always come up short. For it is God’s will that must be done. Not ours.

It is my hope that Lance, like all of us, recognize this and that he turns to Jesus Christ during this trying time in his life.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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About Author

Stephen Kokx is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Peace and Justice. His writing on religion, politics and Catholic social teaching has appeared in a number of outlets, including Crisis Magazine, The American Thinker and his hometown paper The Grand Rapids Press. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and is a graduate of Aquinas College and Loyola University Chicago. Follow Stephen on twitter @StephenKokx

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