If you’re one of the millions of people who were walking around with a Livestrong braclet on over the last few years, you are probably scratching your head over the recent Lance Armstrong news. He recently admitted to using performance enhancing drugs to win all 7 of his Tour De France titles.
As if we didn’t know, many of our American ‘heroes’ have shown their true colors and let the collective people down. We all know what Bill Clinton did to embarrass himself. We have seen people like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Army General David Petraeus all falter under the intense scrutiny of the american People. Lance Armstrong almost seemed like our last great american Hero. He maintained his squeaky clean image by way of his humanitarian efforts with his Livestrong foundation, a foundation that creates Cancer awareness. Whether or not we admit it, we all had a soft-spot in our hearts for Lance. Many of us of desired to see him succeed time and again because we desire to see a hero. We desire to see the “good guy” finally come out on top. Unfortunately it never seems to work out that way.
The Bigger They Are…
The media in our culture commonly builds up American celebrities because for them, it makes for a good story. As a result, the culture begins to surround these icons, propelling them towards the top of american superstardom before they ultimately come crashing down. A few years ago Britney Spears was the dubbed the pop princess by the media. Soon after many platinum albums and intense media scrutiny, she began using drugs and ended a nervous breakdown by shaving her head. Last year Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa, filed for divorce and pursued over 100 million dollars from him due to his repeated adultery. And everyone knows about Tiger Woods being caught committing adultery repeatedly on is wife with upwards of 10 different women. Lance Armstrong joins these American idols as one of many who were once heralded as perfect, only to show their true colors under the microscope. The higher the pedestal these icons are placed on, the further they tumble off that pedestal.
Take off your sepia colored glasses
What happened to the good ol’ days when people were well behaved? The truth is, those days did not exist. Michael Jordan, every sports stars favorite athlete, was a known cereal gambler and settled for $168 million dollars with his wife after she filed divorce against him for having a mistress. Mohandas K. Gandhi was a alleged adulterer and bisexual. Even an incredible man, Martin Luther King Jr. had a rough marriage and committed adultery. The “good ol’ days” were not as perfect as we would like to think
They will always fail you
The truth is, these stars are only a representation of humanity. There isn’t one person who doesn’t have dirt on them. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and no one is made perfect. If our hope is placed on a man or women like Lance Armstrong or anyone else, they will undoubtedly fail us.
Shoes to big to fill
The glory and praise given to these icons hold a great amount of weight. We as humanity have placed a great amount of hope on the shoulders of mere men and women, who are only finite, imperfect beings. They crumble under the pressure of a hope and praise that is really meant for God. No man can withstand the pressures of being an Idol. An Idol is a false God that says it can provide something it knows it cannot. In the case of Lance Armstrong, this idol provided a hero to believe in, someone that stood for good. But, as we’ve seen idols will always let us down. The truth is, God is a hero to believe in, and someone that stands for good. And our God, Jesus Christ has never and will never let us down.