It’s been so sad to watch this whole Lance Armstrong story unfold over the past few weeks. I think we all probably knew something wasn’t right. Too many damaging allegations over a long period of time. It didn’t look good, but I was still holding out hope that he really was the hero we had all thought he was.

Having seen bits and pieces of the interview he did with Oprah has made me feel sorry for so many people involved in this.

I feel sorry for his poor family.
I feel sorry for the former teammates who were villainized all these years by Armstrong and his camp for simply telling the truth.
And yes, I feel sorry for Lance.

You know, I face and succumb to many of the same temptations he struggled with.

Sometimes I’m tempted to give sermon illustrations that make me sound like a better father or husband than I actually am.

Sometimes I’m tempted to make myself appear more spiritual around my friends than I actually am.

Listen, I don’t want to try to oversimplify the wicked web of lies that were spun over his entire career. I just know that many of us are tempted to be someone we’re not.

Choosing to be “real” over being “liked” will not be the safest thing you do today. But it might be the most rewarding. Constantly controlling your image so you get the good opinion of other people will not only exhaust you, it will keep you from looking into the face of the One whom you should be living your life for.

But while authenticity is the cry of all, it’s the game of few.

Do you know why so few people live authentically? Because it takes tremendous courage. You are constantly bombarded by a culture that is doing it’s best, day and night, to make you anybody but yourself.  Letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are is one of the most courageous battles that we’ll ever fight.

I don’t know about you, but I have sure found myself in this trap… caring so much and projecting and predicting and wondering what other people think that all my energy is wasted there instead of living my life for the One who has created me.

So today I’m praying for you.

I’m praying for me.

I’m praying for Lance.

I’m praying we’ll fight the temptation to be anyone other than who Christ has created us to be. I’m praying we’ll be real about our faults and our failures, our strengths and our weaknesses, our temptations and our trials.

For then, and only then, we’ll be living the life we’ve been designed to live.