Strip Me of My Titles
It was official yesterday…Lance Armstrong is no longer a winner of any Tour de France races. The president of the International Cycling Union said this about this “historic” day in cycling. “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling.”
The evidence is in.
Lance Armstrong cheated.
As he was winning races and winning our hearts he was doing it illegally. He was using performance enhancing drugs to win his 7 Tour de France titles.
What is worse, for the last 10 years he has repeatedly denied any wrong doing. He allegedly made threats to teammates, to sponsors and to team officials that kept this secret a secret until it reached a tipping point a few months ago.
The bottom line: Lance Armstrong isn’t the cyclist we thought he was. He is less than he claimed to be. He doesn’t live up to his titles.
So his titles were taken away.
It is so easy to pile on Lance Armstrong. It’s so easy to call him a cheater. So easy to point a finger and say that he isn’t who he claimed to be.
No one would be wrong to do any of that. It’s all true.
I’m not who I claim to be at times either. I don’t live up to my self-imposed titles.
I’m not as good of a father as I want you to believe I am.
I’m not as supportive of husband as I want you to preceive me to be.
I’m not as loving of a pastor as I want the people in my congregation to think I am.
I’m not as faith-filled about the future as I pretend to be.
The titles we give ourselves are often better than the titles we deserve.
We give ourselves titles; we give others labels.
An authentic relationship with Jesus is about allowing Him to strip us of our titles. It’s being honest about our willingness to cheat, lie, gossip and then pretend like we don’t do any of it. Jesus offers us all the same title: forgiven.
Lance Armstrong is no more of a cheater than I am. He is no more of a fake than me.
The ground is level at the foot of the cross.