Like you I’m sure, I have been both shocked and saddened by the unfolding scandal that swirls around living golf legend Tiger Woods.
The saga perhaps impacts me a bit more than the average ‘Jane’ since golf played a big part in my growing up years. My father loved (and still at the age of 78 loves) the game. In fact, we had a golf green in our back yard growing up. My dad still works part-time as a ranger on the course in the summer. (The guy who drives a golf cart around making sure everyone is following the rules and letting others ‘play through’.) My boys also love the game and have always looked up to Mr. Woods.
Oh, and my young world was rocked by a parental affair that resulted in a divorce and still affects me to this day.
So, upon hearing of the first infidelity, I was disgusted. As more were revealed, my disgust turned to anger. “How in the world can a man do something like that and affect his spouse and kids in such a negative and devastating way?!?!” This will impact his wife and children for years! I know first hand.”
My self-righteous finger began to wiggle and wag.
Then, I remembered something about a little saying; a saying that said every time to point a finger at someone else, three of your own fingers are pointing back at you.
This is how God whopped me upside the head a day or so with that little finger pointing ditty.
Yes, adultery is sin. However, Jesus Himself once said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5: 27-28)
Looking with lust is a sin too. Can I assert that I have NEVER done that?
My fingers point at me; the guilty one, times three.
Now in my younger days, that was more of an issue. What about now? Is my heart always pure toward my God-given husband?
Now it looks (and sometimes sounds) more like this:
“Why can’t you be handy like so-and-so’s husband? He can fix anything! We, however, always have to call a repair man. I wish you were more like Mr. So-and-So”
Or, “Did you hear? Joe took Susie on a cruise. (Or bought her a diamond anniversary ring. Or surprised her with a spa get-away. Or had a dozen roses sent to her. Or this. Or that.) “Must be nice to have a romantic, thoughtful husband! Wish I had one!”
Hmmm….wonder what Jesus would say about lusting after someone else’s husband’s personality or skills too?
And what about my other repeating sins? Yes, Mr. Woods had multiple affairs.
I have multiple outbursts of anger.
Anger can be a sin too.
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19-20.)
How many times have my angry words negatively affected my husband and kids?
I think of the time when Kenz was about six and Mitchell three. I happened by the room where they were playing Legos. As I approached the room, I heard Mackenzie’s voice pipe up as she expressed to Mitchell her immense displeasure. You see, he was not stacking the colorful, snap-together, plastic blocks in a manner that suited her. As I neared the door I heard her sharply declare “No, Mitchell. Not that way! Oh, just give it to me! Anybody with a brain knows they go like this, not like that. Can’t you ever do anything right?”
Her words, though unkind, weren’t the real issue. What bothered me most was that they were spoken with a caustic, condescending tone. I was not going to let her get away with it.
I stepped into the room and with classic mom form – hand on hip, finger pointed, throwing the child’s middle name in for emphasis, I gave it to her. “Mackenzie Leith Ehman! Young lady, I don’t ever want to hear you talk like that to your brother again!”
Without even looking up from her pile of blocks, she quickly and calmly retorted. “Why not, Mama? You talk like that to Daddy all the time.”
Again, my fingers point at me; the guilty one, times three.
Now, please don’t misread me and think I think we should all just wink at these acts of adultery.
No ma’am. They are wrong. Dead wrong.
However, I have decided that every time I read or hear talk of Tiger’s transgressions, I will not wag my finger; I’ll take inventory of my own heart.
I will ‘mind my own sin’. (As I tell my kids often to do)
And I will pray for God to greatly intervene in the life of Tiger and His family; I’ll beg Him for a restored marriage and changed lives; I’ll ask Him not to make a spectacle of this family for the rest of the world to point and gawk at.
Instead, I’ll ask Him to write a beautiful story of redemption; Jesus-filled redemption, for all the world to see.
Hmmm…. I wonder how many media outlets would care to cover that one.
Will you join me? Many headlines are asking, after reporter Brit Hume’s Sunday morning comments “Can Jesus save Tiger?”
You and I both know, the answer is yes.
If Tiger is willing.
Perhaps he’d be more willing with less wagging fingers and more praying believers.
I’m in. Are you?