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Monday, December 07, 2009

Talking to Tiger

I wanted to wait a few days before I commented on Tiger Woods' dilemma. I have to tell you that I am totally shocked by all the revelations that are coming forward. I, for one, KNOW that you canNOT always believe what is in the news, but there is some level of truth, and there are some things that we do know. In his own words, he admitted to "some transgressions" and asked for time to work things out in the privacy of his own home.

I have been thinking WHAT IF I had a chance to talk to him, what would I say? What would I share with him? Obviously, all the money in the world and all the fame in the world has not brought him fulfillment, and at the pinnacle of his career, everything seems to be crashing down around him. Before I get started here, I think it's only right to share with you that I have never been a fan of Tiger's. Yes, I think he and Jack Nicklaus are the two greatest golfers of all time, but I have never rooted for Tiger. This is primarily because if you ever watch him play, whenever he hits a bad shot (which is part of golf), he let's loose with a boatload of swear words, and I'm not talking about the second tier level of swear words. I have seen and heard him use the Lord's name in vain and many other words that should NEVER EVER be uttered. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but the game of golf itself is to be a gentleman's game, and even in the midst of competition on the highest level, I believe it's NEVER right to curse like a sailor when things are bad.

On to what I would share if given the opportunity... I am not interested in anything but actually helping him and getting him back on the right path. I want him to know that as important as golf has been to him, it has now becomes unimportant as he looks into the eyes of his children and his wife. I am not sure if he will ever ever regain the trust of his wife, but now is the time to begin placing things in their proper priority.

Number 1: Getting things right with God. A man can try in vain to reconstruct his home or his marriage, but it will all be in vain if God does not somehow come into the forethought of your every intention. God is the Author of life, and He is a God who loves. To the degree that He allowed His own son to die on a cross 2,000 years ago, God longs to love and forgive you for every sin and every transgression. The world, the media, your fellow golfers, your mother or your wife may NEVER ever fully understand or totally forgive you, but God LONGS to forgive you and the peace that you have not been able to find through sports, through fame, through riches or relationships can be YOURS if only you will open up your heart to Jesus. God can and will grant you peace, but only through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Read John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9,10 as well as Acts 2:38, and ask God to forgive you. Ask Jesus to come into your life and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. You will never regret this decision and it's the most important decision you will ever make in your life.

Number 2: I would ask God, my family, my friends and the world to forgive me. Restoration begins with humbling ourselves and seeking forgiveness from those that we have offended. It begins with true repentance, which is a decision to turn away from sin and to make changes in one's life. Being sorry is not enough. Being repentant is. It's changing the stripes of a tiger, which some will say is IMPOSSIBLE, but with God's help, it IS POSSIBLE. I would know going in that there will be those who will not forgive and who will never forget, but I would lose the PR people, the agents, and the Nike logos, and humbly ask for those whom I have offended to forgive me.

Number 3: I would humbly commit this day and the rest of my days on earth to serving and following God, that my time, energy, and resources would be used to bring honor and glory to God. Whatever that means, wherever God leads, and whenever he needs it, I would simply allow God to use YOU to accomplish HIS will in your life.

Number 4: I would CLING to the Scriptures. I would start in the book of Psalms. I might not ever leave the book of Psalms. Read it and re-read it and get it in your heart. You will find peace, strength, hope and victory within its pages. Gods word is the ONLY thing that can erase all those images from one's mind.

And Number 5: I would seek the advice from Godly counselors and men of God to work through all the issues with your family. I do NOT know enough to tell you anymore than what I've already written above, but I would never swing another golf club, I would never make another dollar, I would never give another interview until I had worked through these five things.

I want you to know that I believe that one day things will be better. It wont be easy and it will NOT happen without God. He alone can save, He alone can redeem, He alone can restore, He alone can offer complete forgiveness. He alone has an ETERNAL love for you. I am praying for you. I really am. Praying for all of us, to do the right thing and keep clinging to Jesus and His grace.


jeff perrin said...

The Celebrity Pastor....
Be careful that you do not fall into the lime light of Hollywood and pro sports yourself..
Who cares that this man cheated on his wife, because it is Tiger? or because he is a superstar?... If one person in our church cheated would we be as diligent to get them back on the right path...
He is nothing more than a Golf player but because he is one of the greatest everyone wants to be part of this nonsense.....
Just a Golf player, let's not get tied up in Stardom....

Dianne Dunn said...

Pastor D, I left my answer before reading your Blog and I'm convinced although my answer was short it was at least in line with the Blog. I refuse to accept e-mails and jokes about Tiger 's situation. We as people seem to feed from other's problems and I won't on this one. I too am not a Tiger fan but I do feel compassion and pain for him and his family. Our God will/or has forgiven him but he himself has to ask and seek.That's how I see it. Dianne Dunn, member of SOTH

david b said...

Dear Pastor Dudley,
Great words of advice for us all. If anyone looks down on Tiger, or thinks they could never be in his position...there but for the Grace of God go each of us. "We all fall short..."

Remember the little kid who supposedly said to Shoeless Joe Jackson after he was accused of purposely losing World Series games, "say it ain't so, Joe". For all those, young and old alike, who want to "be like Mike", or "be like Kobe", or "be like Tiger", or be like any number of rich, famous celebrities - there is only one person we should strive to be like - Jesus. He will never let us down.

Barbara said...

Absolute words of wisdom

Aiden's Mommy said...

Now if only we could get him to read this. Very good advice Pastor Dudley! :)

RGG said...

Thanks for those words Dudley, I totally agree with you amen.
I am working with a family member with some to the very things Tiger Woods is now. I love the book of Psalms, and I found #51 to be especially helpful.
I believe that verse 1 is a good start to the road to forgiveness and healing.
1 Have mercy upon me O God;according to thy lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

This Psalm was uttered by David after he too had committed his transgression with Bathesheba.
God bless you

Pastor's Perspective said...

Thanks for posting this Dudley! Your advice resonates well with me also. It's a message of instruction yes, but in Christ, its a message of hope.

Donna said...

More proof of why it is dangerous to place a fallible human being on a pedestal of perfection simply because of fame, wealth and superior achievement. Hero worship is often even more magnified when it pertains to a minority.

In answer to Dr. P's statement; we can use someone's celebrity status to get the attention of believers "and" nonbelievers to rethink their own sinful lives.

At Your Virtual Door Business Solutions said...

I know this post was over a month ago, but I just read it. I love you Pastor Dudley, and thank you for pointing out that we should not worship any celebrity; they are just men. However, I must point out that I'm surprised to hear that you don't like Tiger. I understand your reasons, but about a year or 18 months ago, you spoke quite highly of Tiger in one of your sermons. You had a short video montage, shared with the congregation your admiration of Tiger's work ethic, his process he useds to practice and pointed out his dedication to his craft. In fact I have quoted the information you gave that weekend to others about Tigers dedication and perserverance of being the best. You don't have to like the man, but it's very confusing to me to hear you praise him and his talents, use him positively in your sermon and then make such a bold statement years later. I'm very disappointed.