Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use


Can Oprah Absolve You of Your Sins?

Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah Winfrey has left many people wondering. Was it genuine? Why did he wait so long? Can those he hurt forgive him? Will he ever compete again?

Each of us probably has differing responses to these questions. As a member of the clergy, what interests me is two-fold. Why did Lance Armstrong decide to confess publicly to Opera Winfrey? And , assuming he is genuine, can those he hurt forgive him?

Choosing Oprah

Lance Armstrong was very wise to decide to make his public confession to Oprah. She represents a peculiarly American kind of secular religion, where people can try to find forgiveness and work through pain and sorrow. She is kind and understanding, but not obsequious. 

In a way, Oprah acts as a corrective to what is often wrong with religion in America today. So often we focus on the fire and brimstone message of religion. What must you believe? Are you saved or not? What did you do to deserve your suffering? 

Oprah’s message is more hopeful. She includes rather than excludes, and seeks to understand rather than condemn. She offers encouragement rather than blame. Without watering down our faith, we pastors, priests and rabbis need to do the same thing.

Trust Comes Before Forgiveness

Then question of forgiveness is more complicated. Both Christianity and Judaism teach forgiveness. It is a religious duty and helps build a more dignified and godly world. 

It also takes time. And it takes an acceptance of responsibility. What makes it difficult for many to forgive Armstrong is that he denied the doping charges so vociferously and for so long! 

Finding forgiveness begins with regaining trust. People need to trust Lance Armstrong; trust that he has changed, and trust that his remorse is genuine. 

He is an extraordinary man with a lot to give. Will he have the character to do so? I pray that he does, but the jury is still out.

By Evan Moffic

GET YOUR FREE EBOOK: HOW TO FORGIVE EVEN WHEN IT HURTS.

 



Previous Posts

Why We Still Love Fiddler on the Roof After 50 Years
As I child I could not sit through movies or meals. Sitting through a musical was out of the question. Yet, when I was seven, my parents decided to take me to see Fiddler on the Roof. Looking back now as parent of a seven-year-old, I would not have been so bold. Since that first experienc

posted 6:59:14pm Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

The Secret to Healing From Pain
I sat with the two children of a mother who had just passed away. They were recounting her life for me in preparation for the funeral. As we spoke, the mother’s long-time caretaker came into the room. She began to speak about their relationship. Though her English was not perfect, the three

posted 12:35:43pm Sep. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Do You Know What Hurts Me? A Story
  A great rabbi went into a bar. He overheard a conversation between patrons.   One said to the other, “Friend, do you love me?” “Of course I do,” the second man replied. “We’ve known each other our whole lives.”   “Then tell me, friend,” said the first man, “

posted 1:01:07pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Does Religion Cause War?
Deadly images on television tear at our heart. We wish for the violence in Israel to end. This land, sacred to three global religions, seems endlessly mired in conflict. Does religion just

posted 12:36:26pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

The Healing Power of Laughter: The Jewish Genius of Robin Williams
In Jewish tradition we have a special greeting for a genius. Upon meeting such a person, we say, Blessed are You, Eternal God, Source of Life, who has given from His wisdom to flesh and blood.  Had I ever met Robin Williams, I would surely have said it. Williams was a singular genius. He brought

posted 2:26:21pm Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.