TIGER WOODS NEEDS THE LORD
Coach Dave Daubenmire
December 10, 2009
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” -Mark 8:36
Tiger Woods needs the Lord. I pray that he soon hits the bottom of the sand trap and reaches out for a hand larger than his own. He has never found himself so deeply in the rough.
I don’t revel in his story and I will not join the parade of those marching over the hero that they helped to elevate.
He is a golfer: a great one mind you, better than any man ever born, but that is all he is. A man. His fall has seemed so great only because of pedestal we have placed him on. Would anyone you know want to be Tiger Woods today?
How many women in America today are lusting after those that they see on TV? Making no excuses at all for Tiger, can you even begin to conceive of the number of women who long for a few rounds with him? I am sure that the number of women available to him was equal to the number of golf balls in America with a Nike swoosh on the cover. For him, both the balls and the babes were free.
I’ll never forget what a former pro-athlete friend of mine said one time, “If you think that temptation is tough when you are poor, try fighting it when you are rich.”
That is the real lesson in this episode. How could a guy so disciplined on the golf course be so undisciplined off it? According to estimates, Tiger makes $100 million a year, $275 thousand per day, $12 thousand dollars per hour, every hour of every day. And it still wasn’t enough.
You see, Tiger Woods suffers from the same malady we all struggle with. He is flesh and blood, born into sin, subject to lusts and temptations. Jesus put it this way, “You are of your father the Devil and the lusts of your father you will do.” Tiger Woods needs the Lord.
The Tiger Woods you know is an image. He is a creation of Madison Avenue, a plasticized version of a man of clay. At the end of the day what is it that he is really good at? He can hit a golf ball.
The marketing guru’s have convinced us that we want to be like him. But even they know that is a lie. If we were to think it through we would understand that what we really want is to be able to do what he does, not be who he is.
I often tell our football players “Reputation is who others think you are. Character is who you really are.” Today, in our frenetic search for a human god, most of us cannot recognize the difference. If you were to ask Tiger’s wife today, would she advise young women to marry a man of wealth or a man of character?
Image is everything in America. But image is a likeness, a carefully crafted, photo-shopped rendition of the real thing. America is stunned today, not by Tiger Woods, but by the expose’, the shattering of the image of the man we have been programmed to love. All along Tiger knew, Elin knew, that the man on the TV was not the man in the mirror. Tiger Woods needs the Lord.
A friend of mine led a very famous athlete to a saving faith in Jesus. When I heard the news I was astounded that my buddy was able to guide this house-hold name to the Truth. I asked him how he did it, and what did he say to convince him. He chuckled as he responded to me.
“It was so easy. You see, most of us spend our lives wishing we were on top of the mountain. He had made it to the top and when he did, he realized that there really wasn’t a whole lot up there. When his lifestyle crashed around him he understood that living a life others thought he had, did not enable him to stop being who he really was.”
The image we should pursue is the one that God made us in. We were created in the image of God, not in the image of Madison Avenue. Until we come to that realization we will waste all of our energy spending our lives, rather than investing it.
Allow me to try and clarify things. Each of us is a spirit, we live in a body, and we possess a soul. We are not a body; it is merely the vehicle that carries our soul and spirit around. The spirit is the breath of God which produces our life, and our soul consists of the mind, will and emotions. The soul is the part of us that will live forever.
But our culture is enthralled with the body. Daily we are bombarded through our natural senses with ways to paint it, tuck it, pierce it, medicate it and dress it up, in an attempt to reflect the image of success that the world projects towards us. Tiger, the prototype of the successful man, has shown himself to be hollow.
This false imagery has made its way into Christendom as well. Longing for a “Christian role model” evangelicalism fawned over Carrie Prejean for simply stating the obvious; that marriage was a union of one man and one woman. Her striking good looks and shapely body played well on TV, and we were happy that “one of us” was pretty enough to merit the approval of the hounds in Hollywood. Only after making the rounds of the “conservative” media did we learn that Miss California had a sex tape issue. If only she had fit the image….
Let me get to the point. Character matters. Are you teaching your children how to recognize it or are they chasing after the same secular role models as the pagan down the street? Until we begin to purposefully train our children to not only emulate, but model, Godly character we will continue to see the youth of this nation travel down the road in search of glitch and glamour. It is imperative that we teach our children to value character more than media created characters.
Empathy is a great teacher. Let us not allow the Tiger Woods saga to be relegated to the late night comedy shows. This opportunity to teach our children that decisions have consequences lies before us. Let us not miss this chance. May I make a few brief suggestions on how you can help your children “feel Tiger’s pain?”
Explain to them the difference between lust and love. Lust takes, while love gives. Were Tiger’s actions designed to make others feel better or was it merely an attempt to satisfy his own selfish desires? Was Tiger thinking of his children when he was unfaithful to their mother?
The Bible teaches that “The wages of sin is death.” Ask your children what died as a result of his choice? Don’t focus on material things, but lead them to the death of relationships, (his wife, children, friends), reputation, let alone endorsements. Help them see that our sin affects others.
Ask them what they think Tiger would trade to be able to change what he has done? Focus on character and reputation and ask them what they would be willing to trade their reputation for? Ask them if they will ever look at Tiger Woods the same way? Can money heal a broken heart?
Focus on the damage his actions have caused others. Help them feel the shame that his children must feel. Talk about the humiliation his wife must be experiences as the list of women continues to grow. Concentrate on vows and commitment. Is he someone to be looked up to?
Ask if they think Tiger would have done it if he had known he would get caught. Help them to learn to ask themselves “what will be the consequences of my behavior if I get caught?” Is it a price they are willing to pay?
Encourage them to identify those in their lives who exhibit good character. Ask them to name someone they know who keeps his word and why that is important to them. Why is it more important to be known as a person who is honest and truthful than as a person who is a good athlete or singer?
We live in a make-believe world. The media moguls major in manipulation. From rock stars to your favorite athlete, political pundits to presidential candidates, “worship” services to wonder drugs, things are not what they appear.
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“If you are given a chance to be a role model, I think you should always take it because you can influence a person's life in a positive light, and that's what I want to do. That's what it's all about.” -Tiger Woods
Sounds good, Tiger. Just do it. Swoosh.
Pray he finds Jesus.
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Do you think like a Christian or a humanist? Did the Founders really separate Church and State? Is Judicial tyranny ruining America? Check out these great teachings by the Coach
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Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.