Wednesday, August 09, 2006
If Floyd Landis Was A Christian
Floyd Landis, the 30-year-old cyclist from Pennsylvania is only the third American to win the prestigious Tour de France. Now the title has been officially stripped from him because he has been charged with “doping” or using extraordinary substances to enhance his performance. In other words he’s been charged with cheating. If the ruling stands he would be the first competitor to have the title stripped away in the 103-year history of the Tour.
I’m not a cycling fan and I’ve only paid slight attention to the story. Tuesday night Landis appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. There were no jokes and it was not a humorous part of the show. Leno asked Landis some straight questions and Landis maintained his innocence.
I obviously don’t know if Landis is innocent or guilty. The charge was that Landis had a very high testosterone level in his system caused by an external source and not naturally produced by his system. Landis claims that he has always, naturally had high testosterone levels.
Here’s what I do know. If Floyd Landis were a Christian the Bible has very clear instructions about how he should proceed. If Landis is innocent, then he would take whatever legal means available to him to prove his innocence but ultimately he would entrust his innocence and reputation to God. When I become a follower of Christ I give Him my heart, my ambitions, my influence and my reputation. I trust Him to use and to guard these things in life enhancing and life giving ways.
There’s a story in Genesis 37-50 about a man named Joseph who was wrongfully charged, found guilty and imprisoned. In the end God vindicated Joseph and restored to him dignity, respect and influence. Sometimes God’s vindication comes in our lifetime and sometimes it comes in the next life. If Landis is innocent then to a great degree he would be “resting” in the care of God.
If Landis is guilty then the Bible instructs that he should confess, own up to the cheating, seek forgiveness and offer restitution (do whatever possible to make the wrong, right).
Becoming a Christian does not mean one never has unjust problems, nor does it mean that one never sins or fails again. Therefore, we’ve been given clear guidelines about how to deal with both scenarios.