More Lessons from the Tiger Woods Saga

I am an avid golfer.  I play golf, I watch golf, I read golf magazines, and I coach the golf team here at Hampton Park Christian School.  My two sons (ages 7 and 3) already enjoy the sport with me as well.  There is much explaining to occur in the near future as my sons will inquire as to why my enthusiasm for Tiger’s performances in the future will not match my enthusiastic responses in the past.  I will pray for God’s wisdom as I instruct.  Several other blogs have already provided insightful thinking and teaching concerning Tiger’s personal and public failures.  C.J. Mahaney has provided an especially helpful article. 

One of my close friends, Mike VerWay, sent his thoughts my way as well.  Mike serves as the pastor of !st Calvary Baptist Church in the Minneapolis area.  He has been a mentor to me and has faithfully closed our meeting times with the admonition, “Love your wife!”  This admonition is especially appreciated considering this topic.  Below are Mike’s thoughts.

I am Tiger Woods.  That was Nike’s advertising line only a few weeks ago before the world of Tiger Woods began to unravel.  Not unlike Nebuchadnezzar of old, Tiger’s once great persona now resembles a pitiable creature.

 Many times I have watched Tiger perform some amazing feat on the golf course.  What he does with a golf club and golf ball are unparalleled in the history of the sport.  Often, I’ve wished that I could do what Tiger does on the course and, admittedly, wished for some of what Tiger has.  Have you seen any of Tiger’s houses or his yacht? Do you know that he was destined to be sports’ first billionaire?   Who wouldn’t want to be Tiger Woods – ability, power, prestige, respect, money, a beautiful wife, two cute kids, and more.  I wonder if Tiger Woods even wants to be Tiger Woods right now.

 As Brenda and I talked about this last night, we agreed that had Tiger known before he committed adultery what the outcome would be, he never would have done it.  The price of sin was way too high.  It always is.

 Two realities intersect to foster unfaithfulness – opportunity and dissatisfaction.  To whatever extent,  this happened to Tiger Woods, Mark Sanford, and anyone else who has broken his marriage covenant made to his spouse before God and others.  We should learn from this.  Our jobs, our schedules, our friends, and even our church can generate opportunities for our minds, words, and actions to pursue sin.  We must avoid creating any opportunities that fall short of sex but tease our flesh (Romans 13:14), and at the same time, run away fast from any opportunities that suddenly appear (2 Timothy 2:22).

 Sometimes we ask, “How could he do that, he has a beautiful wife?”  The answer is quite simple.  People are not satisfied with what God has given them.  “My husband doesn’t…” or “My wife won’t” or “She isn’t what I married” or “He’s changed since our wedding day” all express dissatisfaction.  Our flesh and Satan will seize on that thinking.  Covetousness will follow, and sin will, in some form, take its toll on you.  The answer is to be satisfied with what God has given to you (Proverbs 5:18-19) while choosing to give without any expectation of reciprocal treatment (Ephesians 5:25).

 My mom often told me, “Learn from the mistakes of others.”  Tiger Woods is one more example.  By God’s grace, do what you must to make certain that you are not someone else’s object lesson.

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