My Commentary on Tiger Woods: Fair-Weather Fans
My husband, as many already know, is a diehard golf fan. His favorite is none other than the great Tiger Woods. From Thursday until Sunday, from January to January, there is one thing I warn all to not do; and that is stand in the way of John watching Tiger play. Over the past three years, I have gotten to know the sport of golf and the life of Tiger very well. I have even seen his family grow and watch as he, hole after hole and tournament after tournament never ceases to amaze with skill and precision, beating all odds each time. He appears to be a quiet man, at least publically. He does a head nod or cap wave when completing a hole, and makes a brief statement after winning yet another million dollar cup. His reservation, his poise, his frankness and his discipline remind me of the hope of being great at one thing in this life would be worth all the agony and pain that makes the great-great!
Of course, resent events in Tiger’s life have positioned him on the horrible side of fame that always seems to rear its head at the most inopportune times. During this season in the life of the best golfer who ever lived, I’d like to give a word of accountability. In the words of my pastor Craig Oliver, “If you can’t be with me when I’m down, I don’t need you when I’m up!” These words have changed the way I view every relationship in my life. Every person I revere and every person I admire has now gone under the scrutinized lens of my heart to really test where my loyalty truly lies. If they make a mistake, can I love them? If they turn away from what they know to be right, can I forgive them? You know, the truth is, people should be ashamed to allow the words of judgment to escape their hypocritical lips, knowing that if it were them, they would pray for grace to abound. Condoning a stars indiscretion is far different from condemnation of their life.
The loose-lipness of our culture demonstrates how necessary and relevant the work of the Body of Christ is to the world. Shall Tiger bear his cross alone? Don’t all that love and know him have a duty to share in the healing of his infirmities and exercise benevolent grace and mercy? Oh, I know we think the first billionaire athlete doesn’t really need the support of us mere fans, but money cannot buy peace and hope of forgiveness. CNN, MSNBC, ESPN and Fox will run this man’s life into the ground- his marriage and the future of his children right along with it. He cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that we speak out of our mouths concerning his life. Be a real fan of your hero’s. They may never know you or understand your appreciation of them, but God will. He will judge Tiger Woods, and he will judge us too. How you treat Tiger may be a foresight of your own life to come. All of us without sin, please be my guest and cast the first stone. Take inventory of your loyalty to God and your loyalty to his children. Believe me when I say, the fair-weather won’t last always!