Tiger Woods had it all. Richest athlete in the world. All the money he could ever want. Adoring fans. Model wife. Beautiful kids.
He controlled everything around him regarding his public career, but he couldn’t control the private beast within. He seemed like he had it altogether, that he was in total control — and many of us do, too — but he was the one who was controlled by his own appetites.
First of all, why should he apologize? Where do we get our notion of morality? He doesn’t believe in God. He refers to having practiced Buddhism in the past and desiring to return to it, but other than that, there is no reference to belief in God.
Without God, the whole discussion of morality is irrelevant. Without God, we should live for whatever we deem important. For him, money and fame was not enough. He had to satisfy his lusts and live without boundaries. In some ways, he wanted to be his own god. And who can blame him for living that way if there is no objective morality in the universe? We should not even criticize him UNLESS we believe that there is such a thing as morality and in which case, we would have to wonder where that notion of morality comes from.
I propose that even without knowing it, he is admitting to a Higher Being beyond this world.
Second, I was sad to read about how he planned to deal with his failure. He is a self-made man. He depended upon himself, his skills, his natural talents, his education (should have gone to Cal), his intelligence. And he built up an air of invincibility. And even in this deepest failure, all he has is himself to depend on. I need to fix this, he said. And his spiritual solution is Buddhism where he can learn restraint. Sounds a lot like self-improvement. Even in his “repentance,” he is at the center.
Christianity is not self-improvement, though God does change people as a byproduct of having a relationship with Him. As a Christian, our starting point is that we are broken people, hopelessly lost in sin. Even if we were given a million years and ideal circumstances, we could never move even an inch closer to God on our own. We cannot work our way toward God. That is why God had to stoop down to our level and send Jesus Christ, to take on human form, to bridge the gap we could never cross ourselves.
These kinds of failures remind us that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.
Paul knew he was a failure, a sinner.
Paul’s Modus Operandi – Acts 20:24 – “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” This verse gives us a clue as to what motivated this radical disciple named Paul.
Can you say, I consider my life worth nothing to me? Do you value your life too much, are you afraid to lose control of your life, are the things you are pursuing so great that you can’t pause to consider important issues of eternity and ultimate purpose in life? What do you bank your life on?