My Commentary on Tiger Woods Part II: Christian Bearing On Behalf of the Buddhist
I dare not believe that everyone that lays eyes on my writings has accepted Christ as LORD and are Christian by faith. Therefore, it is my goal to understand how to witness to all, even those who are not of the household of faith. In my prayers for Tiger, I have considered his faith as a Buddhist and the reality of his life since his confession of adultery. The word of God admonishes that it rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), therefore I keep in perspective the present circumstances of his life and have been trying to see what my part as a Christian is in a situation like this. I began my meditation on Galatians 5&6. It is here Paul details the workings of the flesh and the Spirit.
Let’s begin with the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5.20-21
Now let’s consider the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5.22-25
For the sake of context, I would like to highlight one working fruit from each section: Adultery and Longsuffering. Neither to exclude any working of flesh or Spirit; nor to preclude one is more important than the other, I do suggest that the augmented dilemma in this case is adultery, and the most adequately corresponding fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering, in that suffering is elongated after revelation of such sin as adultery. My question to us, the Body of Christ, is can we administer fruits of long suffering to a billionaire, Buddhist, golfer? Most of us do not relate to wealth, Buddhism or golf, yet we see in Galatians 6.1-2 Paul reminding the people of God: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit or meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The law of Christ which is above all is loving God first and then your neighbor second as yourself. (Matthew 22.37-40) Longsuffering (due to the nature of the sin) + Meekness (for the approach to the sin) = Restoration (begins the healing from the sin). The means of admonishment, scolding, and wrath are only as good as they justify restoration, which they usually do not.
Finally, I would like to introduce one last thought. Paul declares in Galatians 6.3 “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Let’s step away from the life of Tiger for a moment. Shall we consider the last time we believed something in and of our own selves so much so we were deceived? Deception is horrible trick of the enemy. Imagine (those of us who do know Christ) not knowing the gracious mercy of God. On top of that, imagine being gifted beyond measure in both profession and sport. Consider if you will the cravings of the flesh that we still experience with Christ. Now, rethink the law of Christ as it works in your thoughts, your opinions of others, your understanding of yourself. Imagine that the reason God has allowed for such a season to arise in the Woods family is for us to pray for his salvation and the salvation of his entire family. Let’s believe God that he saves both the least and those with abundance alike. Saved or not. Christian or Buddhist.
Please, do not get my heart for Tiger confused with what I know to be true. For I know well to “Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6.7 My encouragement is to keep working those Spiritual fruits out in daily life. It may make the difference to someone else.