Matt W.C. Joy

Taming The TIGER

In Uncategorized on 10/12/2009 at 11:21 pm

I am beginning to feel as though it isn’t even safe to google ‘Tiger Woods’ anymore in fear of what articles, images, or accusations may haunt my laptop screen.  Okay, even that lead in was a little exaggerated but the way this story has dominated all facets of media is mind-boggling.  The sports networks are filling me in on the fact that another porn star is claiming to have had an affair with Tiger, the local Newfoundland news are letting me know the details of his accident and the ensuing 911 call a neighbor made, the gossip headlines are rampant with dollar amounts this, the world’s richest athlete, is offering his wife to stay with him an extra 2 years at least, and on it goes.  As much as I am tired of being confronted with the story and as much as I hate that I initially wanted the info, I can only imagine how much Mr. Eldrick Tont Woods is agonizing over the ‘bed he has made’ (pardon the pun).  With SO much coverage internationally (some true and some false – most of the public not knowing how to distinguish the two) and with an understanding of the dynamics of having to work through issues as a family,  even my wife is starting to feel for Tiger – and more so for the Woods’ clan.  Here is a guy who literally attained and was granted access to everything this world could possibly offer in ‘stuff’ and is/was, I would argue, the most known and most popular athlete of all-time around the globe.  Yet, I would be willing to bet that he’d love to trade it all in to dial the clock back to the point of making the decision to break his covenant with his wife/fam.

You see, it is easy to scorn those who fall from their lofty pedestal.  Not to mention that fact that we are often the reason they are placed on such a lofty pitch.  But what about the ‘Tiger’ in me? Or in you?  On Tiger’s issue I cannot relate…perhaps you may not either.  But, what about the things in your life that you know are wrong – no matter what code you live by.  Someone once told me that it was in the quiet times and lonely places that we prove ourselves capable of greater responsibility.  Who are you when no one is looking?  The greater the similarity between the public you and the private you the greater the grasp you have on living a life of integrity.

How about this for an applicable anecdote?  The dialogue below is following King David (another guy with incredible popularity in his day and all the stuff anyone could want) having an affair with the wife of a dude named Uriah.  Following which, he had Uriah killed in battle.  Below is an actual account from 2 Samuel Chapter 12:

1 and God sent Nathan the prophet to tell this story to David:
A rich man and a poor man lived in the same town.
2 The rich man owned a lot of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had only one little lamb that he had bought and raised. The lamb became a pet for him and his children. He even let it eat from his plate and drink from his cup and sleep on his lap. The lamb was like one of his own children.

4 One day someone came to visit the rich man, but the rich man didn’t want to kill any of his own sheep or cattle and serve it to the visitor. So he stole the poor man’s little lamb and served it instead.

5 David was furious with the rich man and said to Nathan, “I swear by the living Lord that the man who did this deserves to die! 6 And because he didn’t have any pity on the poor man, he will have to pay four times what the lamb was worth.”

7 Then Nathan told David:
You are that rich man!

OUCH! David must have felt a gaping hole in his  invincibility.  The injustice within Nathan’s parable struck a chord with him to the point where he demanded that the character be punished.  I thought back to this encounter when the Tiger story broke.  How quick I am to point the finger and deem Tiger to be yet another failure at morality, only to hear a voice urging me to look in the mirror.  Then and now I am quickly reminded of the areas of my life that needs ‘fixing’.  You see, no matter how you view others and yourself, there is ONE who sees us on the same ‘playing field’.  That’s who David chose to run to…here is the actual prayer he prayed to God upon realizing how bankrupt he was spiritually (Coldplay rocking ‘Fix You’ is a nice touch to the prayer):

Challenge: Tame the TIGER within you instead of relishing in the one who has fallen around you.

  1. So true, well put, we all need to reflect on our ownselves.So easy to point the finger. Of course we don’t condone any sin.
    A powerful reminder. Thanks

  2. Great job – very well put indeed!

  3. Well stated…framed..and presented.


  4. Just getting caught up on your blog… what a great read! Time for some self-reflection. I think I found my challenge for this week.

  5. Hey Pastor Matt it is June 13th right now and I just read this. It brought me back to when the whole Tiger scandal came out and all the criticism he got because of it. Looking back on it now I can see it from a different perspective realizing that we all mess up and comparing it to King David in the Bible, someone who we consider “the man after God’s own heart” made me realize that we shouldn’t justify what Tiger did, however we should not have given him the criticism that he faced in the media, and in our own homes, if we can still look at David and consider him a role model for our lives. Even though it’s bubbled over, thanks for giving me a whole ne perspective!

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