Tiger's Apology: Woefully Short Of What It Must Be

Just finished watching Tiger's apology. I want to start out by commending him for a few things in his apology. It was nice to see him take responsibility for his actions and use the word "I" a lot. It was nice to actually hear him admit the wrongs he had done. It was nice to hear him ask for forgiveness to the people he actually hurt. I was also glad to see him, as a husband and father, stand up for is wife and children and seek to protect and defend them.

Those are all things in which we should praise the Lord for because His grace, in some form, is raining down on Tiger whether he realizes it or not. What you saw in Tiger's apology were a few biblical truths. First, there is such a thing as right and wrong, acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior. Tiger admitted he knew that in his heart--the difference between right and wrong. What you also saw in Tiger was what plays itself out in each of our lives, maybe not in the form of adultery, but in one way or another. That is, that we intuitively know there is a right thing to do and a wrong thing to do and we willfully choose to do the wrong thing, thus setting ourselves up as gods and following after the idols of our hearts. This is not a condition that is unique to Tiger Woods. We all fall into this category more times than we care to admit. What we witnessed in Tiger's apology was God's common grace being poured out because He has given Tiger a conscience that knows that there is good and there is evil, there is right and there is wrong. What you saw in Tiger's apology was the common grace of the conviction of Tiger's conscience and even the ability to admit his wrongs, seek forgiveness/redemption, and the desire to change his ways.

But what was absent from Tiger's apology made all of the good that you saw in that apology all the more tragic and, in the end, pointless. What was glaringly absent from Tiger's apology was admitting the greatest reality of all--that Tiger had sinned against a holy God. If Tiger acknowledges that what he did was wrong and that he knew the right thing to do then there must be absolute right and absolute wrong. And if there is absolute right and absolute wrong, then there has to be Someone who is the authority who has determined that there is an absolute right and an absolute wrong. That authority is the Creator who has made us and who has made us in His own image and who has made us for His glory.

The foundation of the rightness and wrongness, which Tiger admits to being reality, is none other than the correlating holiness/righteousness of God in contrast to that which is evil, which is everything opposed to the holiness and righteousness of God. What Tiger failed to admit and to see is that his greatest problem is that he has fallen short of God's glory and that he has failed to honor God as he should and has replaced the worship of God with the worship of himself and the things God has made. (Romans 1)

And to add tragedy upon tragedy, Tiger is turning to himself to get him out of this mess. Tiger stated,

"People probably don't realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught."

Tiger's problem, like each of us, is a craving inside of us that can never be satisfied with all the "stuff" we try to fulfill it. The reality is that the craving is something missing in our life. The craving points us to the fact that no matter what we try to feed the craving with, we are never satisfied. C.S. Lewis said,

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

We, like Tiger Woods, were not originally made for this world that has fallen into sin. We were made for a life of enjoying a holy God and being satisfied with Him forever. Tiger fails to realize what Al Mohler states as,

"Most Americans believe that their major problem is something that has happened to them, and that their solution is to be found within. In other words, they believe they have an alien problem that is to be resolved with an inner solution. What the gospel says, however, is that we have an inner problem that demands an alien solution--a righteousness that is not our own."

Tiger is beginning a journey in which he is going to try and find security and happiness from within and he fails to understand that it is the "within" that is the problem. His heart is the problem. His sin against a holy God is the problem. And the only solution is not to try and learn restraint and stop following every impulse but rather to place his faith in the One who never followed a sinful impulse and who always restrained Himself in every way. His only hope for redemption and forgiveness against the One he has truly offended, not to mention his only hope of reformation and change, is to put his trust in the One who died in the place of sinners who, just like Tiger, followed sinful impulses and lived without restraint.

Tiger's only hope, like each of us, is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who lived a perfect sinless life, but who died as a substitute for sinners and who rose from the dead. Tiger's only hope for forgiveness is in the righteousness of Jesus Christ applied to him through faith in His death and resurrection for sinners. Tiger's only hope for change is in the new life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit that flows from faith in this Good News of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'" (Romans 1:16-17)
It was evident from today's apology that Tiger is still blind to his greatest need and our response as followers of Christ must be to keep praying to the Lord to remove the blinders and to shine the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ into his heart that he might see and believe.

That is Tiger's only hope just like it is our only hope.

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