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Tiger's Transgression and the Gospel

Tiger's transgression can teach us how to deal with sin: Don't delay confession, don't run from truth, and don’t hide in isolation.

 

Although I am a huge fan of golf, I have found no interest in the Tiger Woods story. I think Tiger’s game is at the top in his ability, focus, passion and tenacity. But as far as his character goes, Tiger was already near the bottom of my “admirable golfers” list. His hot temper, juvenile display of frustration over a bad shot and his entitlement attitude made him an athlete to watch but not admire.

 

Today, Tiger posted the following on his website 

 

I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try.


I would like to ask everyone, including my fans, the good people at my foundation, business partners, the PGA Tour, and my fellow competitors, for their understanding. What's most important now is that my family has the time, privacy, and safe haven we will need for personal healing.


After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.

 

Again, I ask for privacy for my family and I am especially grateful for all those who have offered compassion and concern during this difficult period.

 

 

Tiger admitted to infidelity and has accepted the consequences for his actions. Here is what we can learn from this when interpreted through the gospel.

 

Three things we learn from Tiger Woods' transgression:

 

  1. Don’t delay confession
  2. Don’t Run from the Truth
  3. Don’t Hide in Isolation

 

1. Don’t Delay Confession

 

Tiger released a statement acknowledging the auto accident, but said nothing else even though the media and police alluded to an alleged mistress and a spat with his wife.

 

As a result, people made jokes, speculative accusations and his sponsors pulled his commercials from the air.

 

Confession is a biblical principle that shines a light on the gospel. We are sinners (Romans 3:10, 23). Proverbs tells us, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (28:13). Without delay we are to confess our sins and then forsake them in the power of the Spirit. Those who confess, Scripture tells us, will receive mercy.  King David suffered much because he failed to confess his sins (Psalm 51).

 

 

2. Don’t Run from the Truth

 

When Woods issued his first statement on Nov. 29, he described "many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me." He pleaded for privacy.

 

Woods led people to believe that the rumors were not true. He changed his story three days later when he said, "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart,"

 

We are all prone to run from the truth. We would rather be seen as successful rather than admit to failure.

 

People run from the truth of their sin by saying they are just as good as the people who go to church. That may be true if their goodness is measured outside of the righteousness of Christ.

 

 

3. Don’t Hide in Isolation

 

From the very first sinner in history, Adam hid from God in the garden, afraid of the consequences of his sin. God sought him out in love.

 

Jesus confronted sin with love and demonstrated it by His death on the cross. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). After we sin is no time to hide from God and others, but rather the time to run to Jesus for forgiveness and grace.

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

 

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Scott Thomas has served as the President of Acts 29 Network and a Pastor at Mars Hill Church. Scott has been a pastor for 30 years—first as a youth pastor and then as a lead pastor and church planter/church replanter for 16 years.