Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard the news about Tiger. It’s amazing how these stories seem to always play out… we hear news of a strange incident that raises suspicion, and days later as the story unravels, we find yet another public figure who is humiliated and hounded by media wanting even more of the salacious details…. and we as a culture can’t seem to get enough of it… Google trends has been listing their top 10 searches on the Google platform and throughout the day yesterday, issues relating to Tiger were filling 8 or 9 of the top 10 spots in the search engine.
I don’t claim to have the definitive answer on why we as a culture are so interested in the sordid stories of our folk heroes, but I’m pretty sure part of our interest in stories like this is a result of insecurity with our own sinfulness… You see, when we see a person of great popularity who seemingly has a perfect life caught in the grip of a sin, we feel better about ourselves in some way…and our own hidden sinfulness doesn’t seem so bad….
I’m not a golfer, not a Tiger fanatic, but I can sympathize with Tiger’s feelings today… He’s blown it big time, and he doesn’t want to give the juicy details to all of us who are casual jaded onlookers…
Listen to Tiger’s own words:
“I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone…No matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don’t share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one’s own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn’t have to mean public confessions.”
It’s amazing to me to see the Biblical language that Tiger uses to describe his plight. “Transgressions”, “grace”, “sin”, “confessions”, all Biblical words that have meaning to a Christian. Sin is a destructive force that leads us down paths we never intend to go… and the reality is.. sins that we think are hidden will eventually be exposed… maybe not on the worldwide scale of Tiger Woods, but exposed nonetheless…
The Bible, in James 5, says to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
I’ve yet to met anyone who jumps to the front of the line to confess sin openly.
About 10 years ago I was preaching a message about confession and I shared a story from my family’s missionary days in Uganda. In several tribal areas in that country believers took the verse in James literally. At the end of most services, they would have a time of open confession before the entire group. I mentioned that it would be amazing if we lived with that kind of open authenticity. I even suggested that we have a time of open confession in our service. A long time member of our church became so concerned that I might make him confess that he angrily blurted out in front of the whole audience, “I don’t think that’s Christian”… sure made for a tense moment in the congregation.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing stories like Tiger’s… All of us should strive to live transparent lives that leave no room for hidden sins… It doesn’t require a press release, but being accountable to God and those close to us and being transparent in our lives can keep us from this trap…
Lord help us live transparent authentic holy lives.