Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Seven Deadly Sins


The Seven Deadly Sins

In recent times, many people have had their faith in institutions and individuals severely shaken. Immorality in the church, greed and speculation in the banking system, and corruption, lying and cheating from our Parliamentarians........whatever next !!!

In sport, the cyclist, Lance Armstrong was an inspirational figure for millions. Seven Times winner of the Tour de France, Armstrong appeared to be invincible, even defeating near fatal cancer.

When Sunday Times journalist David Walsh first met Armstrong in 1993 he liked  and admired the painfully blunt and unashamedly ambitious Texan. Walsh however grew suspicious when Armstrong returned to his sport in 1999, after his near-fatal brush with cancer. He was a different man and a hugely improved athlete. Indeed Armstrong’s improvement was so remarkable that he became unbeatable.

Concluding that this could only have come about through the illegal use of performance enhancing drugs Walsh spent the next 13 years in a campaign to convince the world sporting authorities that ‘St Lance’ was a cheat.

Walsh describes his pursuit of Armstrong in his book ‘Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong’. He paid a heavy price for his doggedness being vilified and ostracised by many of his colleagues and constantly involved in legal actions. There were no ends to which Armstrong wouldn’t go to protect his empire.

In the end, Armstrong was found to have cheated and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. He recently admitted to cheating in the much publicised interviews with Oprah Winfrey. The book is therefore a victory lap for Walsh. As David Walshook the reviewer pointed out, ‘Seven Deadly Sins should stand out for its lesson: if something seems too good to be true, it almost invariably is.’

So what led to the fall of Lance Armstrong? The title of Walsh’s book suggests that sin, the condition that affects all human beings, and separates them from God is to blame.

Walsh points in particular to the ‘seven deadly sins’. This is a classification of specific sins that has been used since early Christian times to educate believers about the need for a Saviour and the continuing practice of confession and repentence. The currently recognised list of these sins usually comprises wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. Each will be examined in the next seven articles.

 In the meantime, as an avid cyclist, I am going to continue to pray that Lance Armstrong will come to know Jesus as his own personal Saviour. When that happens, the seven deadly sins will have no hold over him in this life or the next.

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