Don’t Waste Your Sports: Tiger Woods

The Monday feature of the Worldly Saints blog focuses on a story from the sports world – current or historic. The point is to recognize athletes who are using their sports and athletic abilities to further the kingdom of God or to show how some athletes are wasting their days by not giving God the glory.

This week is one of my favorites on the sports calendar. It is the week of golf’s greatest tournament at Augusta National in Georgia, or as others know it – The Masters.

Accompanying this week will be Jim Nantz’s “poetic waxing” of the tournament during CBS’ broadcast, fans being called “patrons” instead of fans, beautifully landscaped greens and fairways, unknown golfers making a run for the green jacket, etc. I love watching golf and I love watching The Masters.

One person we won’t see this week is Tiger Woods. For the 1st time since 1994, this #1 golfer in the world will not be competing at golf’s greatest venue. Instead, he will be doing what most of us golf “patrons” will be doing: watching the tournament from our couches and Lazy Boys.

Woods Tiger2What in the world has happened to Tiger Woods? When Tiger came onto the scene in the 90’s, he was unbeatable. He was winning majors as often as UCLA was winning national championships under John Wooden. Tiger and his traditional Sunday red shirt was a familiar sight as he seemed to win one tournament after another. The question of breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of eighteen majors wasn’t
“Will Tiger break Jack’s record?” but “When will Tiger break Jack’s record?”

Even though, he is still ranked #1 in the world, Tiger has always measured his career by the number of majors he has won. That is what motivates him and brings him the most pleasure. Going into this week, Tiger has won fourteen. His last major was the 2008 U.S. Open. And at the age of 38, one wonders whether he will ever break Jack’s record.

Now, in 2014, Tiger has been dealing with injury after injury, struggling to make cuts from time to time, etc. He has never regained his form of victorious intimidation since the world discovered Tiger had a dark side that involved a plethora of sexually immoral encounters.

It begs the question: “Is God directly involved somehow in not allowing Tiger the blessing of victory?” God has gone on record in His Word that he will judge those who are sexually immoral. In other words, God could be judging Tiger for his sexual sin(s) by taking away his ability to win or achieve that which he sought to accomplish.

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

That is not a “God may judge” statement; it is not a “God hasn’t decided what to do about adulterers yet” statement. God says he will judge those who are sexually sinful.

If what we are seeing with Tiger’s inability to win Majors is a direct result of God’s judgment on his life for his sexual perversion, should we not humbly fall on our knees and examine our own soul? God hates sin and will judge sin. Whether you are a believer or not, your sill will not be overlooked.

And God may take that which is most precious to you in order to get your attention on a besetting sin.
Don’t live a self-deceived like Tiger. Loathe your sin; repent of your sin; embrace the forgiving Savior. It may not get you another golf major, but it will get you peace with God which trumps any earthly trophy you could ever win here.

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