Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tiger Woods

I've enjoyed watching Tiger golf over the years. I'm not huge into golf, but I'm much more likely to watch while he's in the hunt. I guess that's why I am mildly interested in the recent kerfuffle over his accident, and now, apparent marital affairs.

I read his statement. As a pastor, it interests me when public figures use words like, "transgressions" and "sins". Tiger makes the case that while his actions were wrong, they are a private matter between him and his family.

I don't think the media should be intruding here, and should really leave it alone. There's no good purpose in embarrassing him. There's no benefit other than the lurid details will make money for the media who report them.

But I think Tiger is missing something here: Marriage is a public estate. It's a legal arrangement recognized by the government and society. Marital infidelity is not, therefore, entirely a private matter either. It's one thing to get into a fight with your spouse. It's quite another to push the marital nuke button. There is a difference between a private matter and a public scandal.

His status as a public figure makes these sins all the more damaging. Not only is he embarrassing his family in an exponentially more public forum, but he's also contributing to the ever-declining cultural regard for marriage. People see what other people do, and people see what famous people do even more.

If he means what he says in the statement, then it's good as far as it goes. Obviously, it's not a Christian statement of repentance - it doesn't reference Christ who died for these sins and all sins. I don't know what, if anything, Tiger believes about that.

He wants to avoid a "public confession". I think that would be appropriate and helpful, considering what he's put his wife through.

But his stated intention to do better from now on is more we've seen from many public apologies. Let's just pray for his sake that he finds forgiveness not only from his wife, but from his Lord. Now THAT would be a good public example.

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