By now everyone in the Western world – and then some – has heard about golf superstar Tiger Woods’ indiscretions. His harem is already past the dirty dozen, and shows no signs of leveling off. Each day brings a new revelation of a new lover. He was one very busy guy it seems.
The media of course has had a field day with all of this. Indeed, the way this scandal has been covered by the media is revealing in itself. For example, it tells us much about the priorities of the mainstream media. If the MSM had covered Climategate like it has been covering Tigergate, the Copenhagen Summit may never have got off the ground.
And then there is the blatant hypocrisy of most in the media. As if these reporters, journalists and editors are living a Puritan existence. Most of them probably engage in as much promiscuity, adultery and fornication as Woods has.
The media of course loves controversy, and seems to thrive on shooting down those in the public spotlight. Mind you, Woods certainly does not deserve to be exonerated or excused in all this. But for the MSM to go on a moral crusade here, when its members are likely to be just as guilty of such immorality, is just a bit rich.
But back to Tiger. I am not aware if he has ever made a profession of Christian faith, but if there was ever a good time to start doing so, it would be now. Indeed, he has used an interesting choice of words here. He has spoken of his “transgressions” and his need of “forgiveness”.
This puts him well beyond many other celebs who get caught out feeding in the pigsty. Most simply throw out lame excuses such as “no one is perfect” or “I’m only human”. Tiger seems more willing to own up to his own guilt and take on some personal responsibility, which is always a first step in recovery in such situations.
In fact, he seems to have put his golf career on hold in order to mend relationships with his wife and kids. Whether it is too late for that now remains to be seen. But he seems to have the right priorities here. He just needs to go all the way, and find peace with God as well as peace with his own family.
So pray for Tiger. He certainly needs it. This situation can make him or break him, depending on how he responds. In the meantime, there are certain clear lessons to be learned from all this. One is obviously the importance of personal integrity, and how it seems to have gone missing big time nowadays.
Integrity is simply being and doing in private what you are and do in public. Integrity is living the same kind of life when people are not watching as when they are watching. It is a life of transparency and singleness of purpose.
Another clear theme that emerges here is this: be sure your sin will find you out. Jesus and others in Scripture often warn about this. Indeed, Jesus talks about our secrets being shouted from the rooftops. Sobering stuff.
This episode should certainly act as a warning to all Christians. How many are living a double life? How many are playing with fire? How many will simply be caught out, resulting in a ruined walk with God, a ruined family, and much worse?
The best plan here is to avoid these sorts of situations to begin with. The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife as found in Genesis 39 is quite relevant here. Joseph knew what to do in this situation: he simply fled. No messing around or toying around with temptation.
It is clear that he had determined what was right in his own mind long ago. He did not need to think about things when being tempted. He had already determined what the right thing to do was. And although his integrity got him into some immediate short-term trouble, in the end it proved to be a great Godsend, not only to him but all of God’s people.
Tiger needs to know that although he is a sinner – like all of us – there is hope and forgiveness to be found in Jesus Christ. And he needs to know that his life can be radically transformed by an encounter with the living Christ. Pray that he will quickly find this, and that he may yet restore his badly damaged relationship with his wife and his children.