Tiger…And The Prowling Lion

Published on December 4, 2009 by CT in Blog, Thoughts

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Tiger...And The Prowling Lion

Why pile on Tiger?

I’d say commentary doesn’t have to pile on; commentary can be cruel, or it can be full of grace.  But people are going to be caught up in the current events surrounding the world’s most famous golfer, so there’s an opportunity to for each of us to engage others, and our own hearts, as we consider how we are reacting to this news.

What was your first thought when you heard the news? I’m not surprised—just another celebrity fooling around on his wife?  How dare he—doesn’t he know he’s a role model to millions?  I wonder if I can find pictures of his mistresses?  If I were his wife, I’d leave him?  Who am I to judge; nobody’s perfect?

I think any one of these reactions would be normal.  Even when I try to consider my reaction in the Spirit, I still find a number of competing responses:  Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone; Judge not, that you be not judged; Judge with right judgment.

So it’s hard to know whether or not we should have an opinion, and it’s even harder to know if we should voice it.  More daunting than this is the realization that our enemy is feeding during a time like this.  Peter tells us Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).  And this lion is certainly devouring Tiger, as Tiger wraps his apologies in a veneer of self-justification.

But he’s feasting on us as well when our words reflect anything other than the sweet-tasting fruit of the Spirit.  If Satan can get Tiger to cheat on his wife and try to cover it up, that’s great for him.  But if he can get tens of thousands of us arguing with each other, saying things like, “Who are you to judge?  Nobody’s perfect; we’re only human,” or “What’s the big deal?  Athletes do this all the time,” or “You know, it’s those women who are throwing themselves at him—they’re to blame,” then we’re just another meal.

This is where Jesus lays grace on the table, and when we feast on it, we’re no longer fit for consumption.  Satan has no stomach for grace; he can’t and won’t eat it.  So James tells us to “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

I think grace-filled humility looks like several things in this situation.  It means acknowledging that God is the ultimate and supreme judge, and that all of us will come under His judgment.  It means then taking every judgmental thought we have (and we have them all the time) to lay them in repentance at the foot of the cross, turning our eyes inward to remove the logs in our own eyes so we can see clearly to remove the speck in our brother’s.  It means we can judge righteously with clarity of sight, not passing over moral transgression as if it doesn’t matter, but not neglecting the knowledge that we judge in the Spirit so the body of Christ may be built up.  And it means praying for many, including Tiger and ourselves, to “repent and believe in the gospel…the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15).

Ultimately, piling on Tiger really looks like joining the global heap of sinners in need of a Savior.  So if Jesus is our greatest treasure and delight, let us be grateful He has prepared a better meal for us:  the Bread of Life to be consumed for His glory and our joy.  And if Jesus is nothing more than a man, or even simply fire insurance, then let us fall at His knees, declaring Him the one true judge, asking that we may come to dine at His glorious table of grace.

  • Tim

    Funny, I was thinking something similar yesterday as I heard everyone bashing this guy. Its all the same in the eyes of our Lord. We all have stuff we should be judged for…its just that its not on TV for everyone to see. And as a man, I thank God sometimes that I don’t have a job like Tiger, where sexual temptation is basically part of your daily job. It must be exhausting resisting that on a daily basis without a daily walk and a group of accountibility partners around him. I think a lot of people that are pointing fingers would be stumbling in the same way if the roles were reversed.

    • CT

      Bro, I think you’re right. I think it would be exhausting, particularly without community around him like you said. God keep us from temptation we cannot bear, but give us brothers to help us guard our hearts, eyes, and doors.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

    It is amazing how we look for others to fall so that we can feel better about ourselves.
    I do this all the time.

    • CT

      Good point. Whenever I hear that, I think back to this picture of a ladder; we criticize the ones above so we can move up the ladder, and we step on those below so we can keep our place. Finding our identity in Christ is better…but hard.

  • guest b

    Very good of you to write this so generous post. When one we love falls, perhaps instead of throwing him/her away or deeper into nongrace, we can offer a hand, or compassion, or make a space for them to return to grace.
    Sometimes, we need to banish one who is a danger to us or others. In this case, we still can love them, but not lose ourselves or others. But in the case of one who's greatest danger is to himself, why not create a way to come back home.

  • http://www.christianclothingblog.com Greg Ryan

    Sorry, second comment in a few minutes, I also wrote a post about Tiger Woods, it was after the Brit Hume comment. My take, I will pray for him and his family (Sorry about this late comment, this is my first time to your site)
    My recent post New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Champions

  • Matt Smart

    CT – good points, how easy we find it to point out the fallen along the side of the road.

    Case in point – went out for a night mountain bike ride Wednesday night. 2 hours, 16 miles, mud, fun and amazing views of los angeles and even saw the lights on Catalina of airport. But guess what, the entire ride the comments from the crew were driven by negativity. I would say, 'wow, what a view.' The response, a few minutes later, in response to conversations 10 minutes prior, "$85 race entry fees, what rip." Um, did anyone here my comment about the nature God created around us?

    Onward.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Chris_Tomlinson Chris_Tomlinson

      Onward. Love it. Keep pressing on brother.

    • http://www.google.com/ Lyddy

      Articles like this are an example of quick, heplufl answers.

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  • Tony

    Galatians 6:1 If a man sins those who are spiritual should restore him with gentleness lest you too be tempted seems to be the thought expressed in this blog. Keep in mind that Tiger Woods is not a believer in Christ as his Savior.

    • http://cravesomethingmore.org Chris_Tomlinson

      Hi Tony, you're absolutely right that restoring a brother with gentleness is a command given to us as we interact with other believers, which may very well exclude Tiger. The essence of the post was meant to be more focused on our hearts–and our own judgmental spirits. I've found, as I'm sure you have as well, that recognizing my own sin makes me focus less on the sin of others and turns my eyes towards our Savior.