“Floyd Landis Comes Clean.” Really?

May 21, 2010

Here is a headline that I read today from USA Today:  “Floyd Landis comes clean, accuses Lance Armstrong.”  

If only it was just one phrase.  Why did there have to be two phrases there?  If only the confession was all there was to report.  If there was nothing else except, “Floyd Landis comes clean,” my heart goes out to the man.  He used performance enhancing drugs, and now he is humbling himself to clear his burdened conscience.  But with the attachment, “accuses Lance Armstrong,” I’m sorry, but it just seems to reek with pride and vindictiveness.  And it seems an attempt to mitigate the damage done to his own reputation by diluting the offense.  “Ok, I did it!  But I’m not the only one.  Everyone is doing it.  Fine, I’ll ‘come clean.’  But I’m taking everyone else down too.”

But my heart does go out to Landis.  The same kind of pride that just seems to be dripping off his confession also lives in me, and must be subdued by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I’ve been reading The Peacemaker by Ken Sande.  He has a section called “The Seven A’s of Confession.”   The second one is “Avoid if, but and maybe.”  Don’t use those words in a confession.   They ruin everything.  I wonder how many confessions I’ve spoiled with the word, “but”?  If the word “but” is ever added to a confession of wrong or guilt, believe me, that confession will lose the force and power for healing it would have otherwise carried. 

I write all of this to help us in our relationships and fellowship.  The time will come when one of us blows it, missteps or sins against another.  When that times comes, and confession needs to occur and guilt needs to be acknowledged, let’s remember how powerful humility is.    Let’s remember how deflecting, evading, excusing, and finger-pointing will deflate the whole thing.  Humility and honesty are very powerful.  Grace seems to flow abundantly to those who practice them.  God gives us the ability to do it in a way that honors him.

~Jeff

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