How the news coverage of Tiger Wood’s adultery illustrates some not-so-randomly-connected truth

January 11, 2010

I know that this has become “old news” already, but I’ve been trying not to waste the lessons of the scandal from a few weeks ago. I have prayed for the Lord to soften my own heart and be sanctified by the news of the sin of another. I have no stones to throw, except at myself. In all honesty I can say that I am the most sinful man I know.

That humbles me, and the way that Tiger Wood’s sins have been put so publicly on display has put the fear of the Lord in me even more deeply. Who would want any of his own sins exposed the way Tiger’s have been? That’s humbling and frightening and sanctifying.

There are some things illustrated in this scandal that have been on my mind and in my prayers:

1. Americans still view adultery as wrong. I am glad to see this reaction by the public. Frankly, I was surprised that the world still cared about the commitments involved in the marriage covenant.

2. A beautiful wife does not equal a happy life. Other ways of expressing this principle: Wealth does not equal having-it-all-together (too often it undermines it!). Outward luxuries do not carry the power to produce inner fulfillment – only the love of Christ toward us carries that power for us.

3. Self-discipline in one area does not guarantee it in all areas. There are too many professional athletes to mention that illustrate this truth all too well (Michael Phelps, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, etc.). If you give all your effort to being good at some particular outward skill, chances are you may be neglecting other important areas of your inner life and character.

4. Be sure your sin will find you out. Be afraid – enough to not sin. A carefully crafted and controlled public image of yourself cannot conceal the truth about you indefinitely, no matter how good at it you are. What you are before God is what you really are.

5. We are all too voyeuristic about celebrity scandals – grocery store magazines, news sites, news shows – it’s been everywhere all the time. It’s too much. But it’s there because the public loves to know. May this scandal make us wiser than before about our own lives, and find our cravings for celebrity gossip lessening.

6. We should pray that God would humble him and bring him to genuine repentance and faith in Jesus Christ the Savior. I’ve been praying this for Tiger Woods. And it looks like I’m not the only one.