There is something about lying that hits a real nerve. People who read the Bible are quick to point out that telling lies is the first trace of evil in the Scriptures. Satan flat-out lied to Adam and Eve about what God had told them.
Deception and lies shake us. They are often hard to ferret out, and, even when confessed, it is hard for a person to recover a sense of purpose in life, once branded as a liar.
The Lance Armstrong saga is not only about cheating and being involved with others who cheated in sport, but also about an extensive pattern of denial and lies. Now the story is about to break wide open, as Armstrong’s confession is reported to be on the taped interview with Oprah Winfrey set to air this week.
The media is already turning to the topic of redemption. It is interesting that several articles have referenced the redemption of Chuck Colson after Watergate.
In Politico, Patrick Gavin quotes former Livestrong Chief Development Officer Doug Kingsriter as saying, “Armstrong should learn from Chuck Colson.” Kingsriter goes on to recount how Colson admitted, “You know, I did wrong” and then, after prison, “started an organization that would help bring the gospel to people who were in prison. And he became more known for that work than he did for the Watergate scandal.”
Even more noteworthy is a Wall Street Journal editorial that advises, “As the cancer survivor turned champion cyclist tries to salvage what he can of his reputation . . . he'd be better off following the example of the late Chuck Colson.” The editorial goes on to paint a dark picture of the depravity of lying and some of Armstrong’s other egregious sins, including suing a newspaper for half a million for “libel” after it accused him of doping. But it ends with “The ultimate judgment . . . belongs to a higher authority, but in the meantime the Colson example suggests an earthly road back to respectability.”
It seems that the narrative of Chuck’s life and his story of redemption have taken a strong root in our media culture. That’s good news. Our hope is that the meaning of Chuck’s story might continue to unfold in our time, so that more and more can see his Redeemer.