I may be the last person in the world to comment on Tiger Woods publically. I know I am late to the party, but here’s my take.
This morning, for the first time, he spoke publicly about the disaster that is his life. Most disasters this big receive money from FEMA. He actually lost money, but somehow I think he will manage to scrape a life together out of what’s leftover.
So here I go:
First, the guy is an amazing golfer. He is the best of his generation. Best of all time? Before declaring that, I would like to see him play in the era of Nicklaus, Watson, Palmer, and the fellows … with their equipment and their balls. But you can’t sneeze at fourteen majors and more than seventy wins.
Second, the guy is a world-class jerk. I am not talking about his marriage (yet). I am talking about him. The media paints it as mental toughness, devotion to winning, desire to dominate, and a host of other things. I call it being an idiot, lacking class. The better of an athlete you are, the less you should need the “game face.” In my view, the “game face” is for people who don’t have the game without the face.
Third, the guy owned his problems today. Good. He did not blame anyone else. Good. Hopefully, he means it.
Fourth, he owes nobody anything except his wife, his family, and his employers (i.e., sponsors). Listening to people rant about how the fans need an apology is stupid. Listen to radio personalities and columnists whine about him not taking any questions is also stupid. He owes you no answers to your dumb questions. He owes me, nor anyone else out here, anything.
Fifth, he is returning to his childhood faith, Buddhism. He hopes this will help him center his life and live according to his values. Good, I guess. If you are going to live in this world, you should do something and believe something that will make you a better person. Hopefully he will do that.
The truth is that Buddhism probably will help him get what he wants because he appears to want his life back, meaning his wife and kids, his sponsors, and his golf.
However, Buddhism won’t help in the long run because it does nothing to address the real problems of his life, which is the fact that he stands under the judgment of the one true and living God. Buddhism can’t fix that. Buddhism can’t atone for his sins (and he can’t either). Buddhism might help him live better but it won’t help die well. Only Jesus can do that.
Sixth, listening to one of the many side flings complain about not deserving what she got is perhaps the highlight of the whole sordid affair (no pun intended). Here, a former p0rn star actress complains that a guy carries on a sexual relationship with her and then walks away from it. Wow, never experienced that before? She complains he lied to her. What did she expect? He’s committing adultery. Of course he is lying.
She thinks she deserves an apology. She says she would take one over the phone but she thinks it should be face to face. The cynical side of me says that she owes him a cut of her royalties since very few people would have heard of her if not for this, and the money she makes off of stories is only because of him.
The other side of me says she should be too embarrassed to be seen in public. Just go away.
In fact, I wish the whole story would go away. It pure voyeurism.
So here’s my conclusion:
Remember the cross. Jesus died to save your from the power of sinful fantasies and dangerous relationships. Jesus died for the sin that you think you can’t live without. He died to give you something bigger to live for than the next sexual high. So act like it. Cry over it. Rejoice in it. Run to the cross.
Guard your heart. As this story reminds us, having an trophy wife won’t keep you from looking elsewhere. So men, if you think your problem in your marriage is that your wife doesn’t look a certain way, you’re lying to yourself. Stop it now. Repent of it.
Guard your marriage, whether you have money or not. Do not let outside influences in, even in the recesses of your mind. You can think things and no one will know … for a while … perhaps for a long while. But you’re playing with fire. And more often than not, fire will burn you. Don’t hide things in your life. Be transparent. Be open. Be communicating. And be loving God more than your spouse or your marriage.
Live in a constant state of avoiding sin (not just turning from it). Don’t put yourself in unnecessarily dangerous situations. It’s not worth it, not because you will lose millions of dollars from sponsors. It will cost your far more than that.