Imagine someone deceived you, lied to you, and stole from you for ten years, but was eventually caught and, a few years later, asked for your forgiveness. Would you give it?
You’d probably ask some questions first, like:
“Are you sorry for what you did?”
“Will you do it again?”
But what if the answers were:
“I’m not sorry for what I did, but I am sorry for the painful consequences.”
“I would do it again in the same situation.”
Well, you’re probably not going to forgive are you?
Yet, that’s what an allegedly “repentant” Lance Armstrong wants us to do. He deceived millions of people, told innumerable lies, stole titles from other cyclists, and made megabucks from books about his “miracle” come-back. But he now thinks he should be forgiven, and gives three reasons in this interview with the BBC:
- Enough time has passed.
- Everyone else was doing it anyway.
- His bike sponsors made hundreds of millions, and his cancer charity raised $500 million and helped three million people.
Not exactly bearing fruit worthy of repentance, is it? (Matthew 3:8).
Perhaps most worryingly of all, when he does condemn the wrong, just like the unrepentant King David (2 Sam. 12:5-6), he talks of it in the third person, as if it was someone else that did it.
“I would want to change the man that did those things, maybe not the decision, but the way he acted,” he continued.
“The way he treated people, the way he couldn’t stop fighting. It was unacceptable, inexcusable.”
To top it off, he thinks he still deserves the seven Tour de France titles he was stripped of.
What a stark and sad contrast to the Westminster shorter catechism’s summary of the Bible’s teaching:
“Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.” (A 87).
That’s the way not only for a sad and angry Lance Armstrong to get his life and happiness back, but to win eternal life, the greatest prize of all, a prize that is gifted not sweated for.