Forgiveness vs. Punishment

Lance Armstrong has finally confessed. After many, many years of lies he finally told the truth.

This has me thinking about forgiveness vs. punishment. In general, when a person realizes he has made a mistake, is willing to learn from the mistake and not make it again, forgiveness should be given. However, just because forgiveness is granted doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be punished. In Lance Armstrong’s case, he hurt a lot of people every time he lied and denied doping. Careers were ruined, millions of dollars were awarded and reputations were lost. Ramifications and intent of mistakes need to be considered to determine an appropriate punishment and help him learn from his mistakes.

As I tell my sons, if you lie and try to cover it up, it will get worse. If you lie and then tell the truth, it may not make the situation go away but it will stop the situation from getting worse. Lying to cover up lies spins the situation to a point that you can’t control it and the truth eventually comes out. And it will be worse than you telling the truth in the beginning.

Sometimes you must feel pain to learn.


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