Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19, 2010

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 5:21
I just listened to Tiger Woods' press conference.
I conditioned myself to hear it sincerely and not with cynicism. Even though I bought into the hype about his image and therefore, was seriously disappointed when the truth about him was exposed. Also, I deal in grace and redemption, so I extended him grace.
Having listened sincerely, I heard some sincerity. He took full responsibility for his behavior and showed an understanding and disdain for the thinking that lured him into that behavior. He recognized those whom had suffered most from his selfishness and humbly apologized to them.
Obviously, I would have much rather have heard him say that he had repented to God for his sins and turned to faith in Jesus Christ. Instead, he shared his intention to return to his Buddhist faith. I will pray for him and hope you will, too.
The timeliness of Tiger's statement did not escape me. On the eve of our 40 Day Focus on marriage, his highly publicized transgressions remind us of the relevance of what we will be studying.
Everything that Tiger did wrong, you are capable of doing. So am I. Every temptation he faced, you have faced. So have I. Therefore, learn from him. Hear his confession. Feel his pain. Just as he fell, so can you. The sort of self-centered entitlement mentality that sucked him into the decisions and behaviors can do the same for you and me.
The only hope for Tiger, for you or for me, is to hear the truth of Ephesians 5:22-33. Only by submitting to God - "lining up with Him and giving up your rights" and by submitting to your partner - "lining up with him and giving up your rights" - will you ever truly be able to honor God. Not only will you honor God but you will receive His love, mercy, grace and peace. Only as you receive those blessing from Him can you extend them to your spouse.
As you see Tiger in the news and as you hear his statements replayed and critiqued and discussed and dissected over these next few days, let it serve to remind you that but by the grace of God that could be you. And by the grace of God, humbly submit to Him so that you can make sure it never will be you.