Was He Really Sorry?

Armstron g“I’m deeply sorry for what I did.  I can say that thousands of times, and it might never be enough.” said Lance Armstrong to Oprah Winfrey.

If you didn’t watch the two-part interview that Oprah had with the famous cyclist, you’ve probably heard about it.  Armstrong finally admitted to doping.  To using performance enhancing drugs.  To lying.  Covering up.  To being a bully.  To cheating.  To hurting his family, friends and fans.

Following the first telecast, Norma Jean turned to me and said, “Do you think he’s sorry he sinned?  Or just sorry he got caught?”

Good question.

Sports writer Dan Wetzel doesn’t think Armstong’s really sorry.  After the first broadcast Wetzel wrote, “Across 90 minutes with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong did more than admit he cheated to win his seven Tour de France titles. He revealed a measure of the man that he is and this much is certain: If you never met this jerk, well, count your blessings.”

“Defiant, distant, difficult.”

“Arrogant, unaware, flippant.”

Wetzel wasn’t the only one with this opinion.  The commentary was pretty similar.  My response to the Norma Jean?  “Well, he certainly doesn’t seem  like a man who is contrite and broken for what he did.”  Possibly an understatement, eh?

My thoughts did turn to another man who committed a grievous sin that impacted a nation.  There was also pride. Greed. Lying. Cover up.  Plus, adultery and murder.  His name?  King David.

When caught and confronted by the prophet Nathan, David simply said, “I have sinned.”  He didn’t deny it.  Or go into “spin control.” Or sue Nathan for defamation of character. Following the admission, he didn’t go on a national tour to “repair his image.”

The Bible records David fasting.  Praying to God.  And pouring out his heart through some of the most poignant Psalms ever written.  One of these is Psalm 51.  Listen to his remorseful confession.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity

and cleanse me from my sin.  

 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight,

That sounds like a man who is really sorry.  He’s hurting.  Humble.  And remorseful.  He’s honest.  Open.  And aware.

David continues with his heart-felt supplication as he speaks of being “crushed” and pleads “cleanse me,” “hide your face from my sins,” and  “blot out my iniquity.”    And then he asks for that which will make all the difference when seeking forgiveness and reconciliation

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  

Sorry is a matter of the heart.  It is a mournful heart.  A broken heart. A humble heart.  For change to occur and repentance to be received, there must be a clean heart, a new heart, and a pure heart.

So, was Lance Armstrong really sorry he sinned, or just sorry he got caught?  I’m not the judge of his heart.  I can only see his attitude and actions.  But I know my heart.  And when I sin, God desires true sorrow, genuine repentance, and real change.

Like David, let my prayer be “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

10 Comments

Filed under Repentance, Sin

10 responses to “Was He Really Sorry?

  1. Faloria Jones

    AMEN!!

  2. Larry

    Good lesson for all of us!

  3. King David acknowledged that his sin was against God; a fact that the Bible reveals is true of any one, regardless of the dispensation. Mr. Armstrong, to my knowledge has not acknowledged that of his past choices, which evidences the motive behind his actions. His words reveal his thought process, as is/was true of us and of King David. This, in turn provides those w/spiritual insight of the word of God to know the truth in regard to this “admission”, thereby passing our judgment upon him with “righteous judgment”.

  4. sry, part of the response above was somehow deleted….the first sentence should read: [King David acknowledged that his sin was against God; a fact that the Bible reveals is true of any one, regardless of the dispensation, WHOSE MOTIVE IS GENUINE REPENTANCE]

  5. Lot can and will be said over this matter. This in my opinion is the problem with the media and trying to fix things in the media. There will always be more no one will ever know behind the story. “Right or Wrong” everyone makes mistakes, sure some are worse and some are more public. In the end only we will know out true intents and how we handle them. time will also show where this heads.

  6. Hi,
    Wrote about this on my own blog today – I guess lots of people have! I’m in the ‘sorry he got caught’ camp!
    Cheers, Gordon

  7. Tasha Jordan

    Does it really matter it’s not our place to judge what’s in his heart remember we can’t read hearts only GOD!!!

  8. This is a copy of what I wrote on my FB page yesterday after watching both segments of Lance Armstrongs interview w/Oprah. I think this is just the beginning of what Armstrong is going to be facing. Thank God that He does not show us in advance the suffering we face because of our sin! We would all give-up HOPE. Christ took all our sin and paid the price for our redemption, but we often have to live out the consequences of the sins we’ve committed. God will go to ANY length to get our attention in hopes that we will accept His gift of redemption. Armstrong and his family, (and others affected) need our prayer’s! Who knows? Maybe 10 yrs from now he will be able to look back at this time and say it was the greatest ever BLESSING he received from God-because it made him look UP and not at himself. Anyway-here is the post:
    Lance Armstrong interview…very interesting. He compares his lifetime ban from competition to a death sentence. NO Lance! A death sentence is what may happen to some of the guys on your ‘team’ who get cancer from doping, and don’t recover from it… lets keep that straight. BTW-there is a reason they call it ‘DOPING’!

    YOU had the glory, YOU had the power, YOU got the money, YOU didn’t care about ANYONE but YOURSELF. The only real truth told in the interview with Oprah, is when you talked about Luke and your twin girls. I Thank God that at least SOMETHING was able to penetrate your otherwise stone cold heart. I suggest you get on your knees and THANK God, and ask Him to come in. He can redeem you, and this whole situation! You have no idea…but first you have to stop thinking of yourself. One other suggestion, stop apologizing until you really MEAN it, the fact that you don’t REALLY mean it is VERY apparent.

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