Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: A Philandering Tiger

inthenewsJust about everyone knows who Tiger Woods is. He is the most famous golfer, and perhaps the most famous athlete in the world. He has also become one of the most infamous athletes due to being a serial philanderer.

Numerous women have been linked to him. Despite initial denials it was obvious that he had been unfaithful to his wife on numerous occasions with multiple mistresses. When denials proved futile, he finally admitted his infidelity, and has taken a sabbatical from golf to try to save his marriage, and regain the trust of his wife.

Many lessons can be learned from this sordid tale, especially with regard to the treachery of adultery and the destruction it wreaks upon a home. But we will limit ourselves to four other truths to be gained from an examination of Tiger Woods’ sin.

First, the consequence of a ruined reputation. Not only has Woods’ lost fans because of his sin, he has lost endorsement deals as well. He has lost the respect of his many of his peers among profession golfers. These men are likewise affected, as TV revenues will drop, and prize money may as well, because of the fallout of this situation. As application is made to the Christian, it is legitimate to note that sin leads to the loss of reputation for us as well. However, the circumstances are far more dire. Where Tiger may lose a few millions of dollars, he already has more than enough money to tide him over for many lifetimes. However, as Christians when we lose our reputation, we lose our influence upon others. We are unable to shine as a “light of the world” (cf. Matthew 5:14), and are thereby unable to persuade others to accept Christ Jesus as Lord. In short, a lost reputation destroys our credibility as witnesses of the Lord.

Second, the danger of pride. The wise man wrote, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Tiger had been told since he was a small child that he was a gift to the world. His dad once said that he would transform society. His actions showed a blatant disregard for law and decency, and it led to his downfall. This serves as an important object lesson to us. “…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Third, the need for true repentance. There is no way of knowing whether Tiger is truly penitent, and if he will really change. But, to his credit, he is at least saying the right things. He said he is taking a sabbatical from golf, and dedicating himself to becoming a better husband, father and person. The words are right, (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:11). Perhaps he will be able to prove himself “to be clear in this matter.” Whether he does it or not, as Christians this is required of us if we are caught in sin.

Fourth, the need for appropriate role models. Too many in our day look to professional athletes and entertainers as role models. This is absurd. They are not only not representative of culture at large, it has been demonstrated time and again that as a group they are among the most ungodly and immoral of people. Young people, if you want a good role model, look to a mature Christian. Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Christians should look to the men and women of faith revealed in God’s word, and their modern day equivalent among us today, as role models in their lives.

Yes, Tiger Woods committed a terrible sin. He is an object lesson for us if we will look with discernment, and determine to learn and profit from his mistakes.