THE EYE OF THE TIGER

There was a voicemail on my phone Monday morning when I got into the office.  “Hello, Pastor Mark, this is Tiger Woods and I really don’t appreciate you criticising me on your television program.  Don’t you have anything better to talk about?  Oh, I have an idea why don’t you talk about Jesus for a change”  CLICK!

Wow, I guess Tiger didn’t like my joke.  It goes like this in case you missed it.  What’s the difference between a Cadillac Escalade and and golf ball?  Tiger Woods knows how to drive a golf ball.  Good thing I didn’t tell my other one.  What do Tiger Woods and a baby seal have in common?  They both know what it’s like to be clubbed by a Norwegian.  Actually, that one is cruel…to the baby seal.  Tiger on the other hand deserves everything he has coming to him. 

I told a few benign jokes about Woods.  Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette totally thrashed him in a brutal article about Woods.  He said, “Tiger Woods is a man whose life is built around greed and a ruthless, monomaniacal obsession with winning. No wonder he’s obsessed with acquiring mistresses. The man has always had everything he ever wanted. Who is going to tell him no? When I read about Woods, all I see is stories about when he’s going to return to the PGA Tour, how he’s going to rehab his image (as though it’s all about image and nothing else) why he’s likely to come back better than ever. No one mentions that this was one twisted, greedy human being….”  Well, after that he just got plain mean. 

Woods has shown himself to be an shallow and selfish individual.  He will rarely sign autographs for his fans, will do anything for money from selling cars to cell phones,  and yet gives little back to the world that has made him countless millions (He does have a charitable foundation but almost all of the money it gives away is raised from others).  However, it is the revelations of his habitual infidelities that are the most disturbing.  In retrospect he never really tried very hard to conceal his string of mistresses and was seen in public with them on many occasions.  It’s called entitlement.  A sub-consciously held belief that one somehow deserves privledge and is not held up to the same social mores as other lesser mortals.  The pharaohs, kings and emperors of the past and the CEOs, rock stars, movie stars and sports superstars of today all suffer from the disease of entitlement.  King Solomon admitted he had the illness.  Ecc.2:10 10  “Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure...”  Solomon in his wealthiest moment, was in his most bankrupt state of mind.  He came to the place where he lamented, “It was all vanity and grasping for the wind…therefore I despised my life.”  I place Woods in the same category.  Whatever the eye of the Tiger desired, he took. 

Of course it is not entirely his fault.  We idolize people like him, put them on a pedestal and require nothing in return but to watch them perform like circus animals.  He’s a liar, a cheat, a bad husband and poor example of a father but all you hear is, “When is Tiger coming back, the Tour needs him, he is such an amazing golfer.” 

I really did get that voicemail.  And, yes I know it was actually an angry Tiger Woods fan that thinks, that of all people, a preacher shouldn’t be picking on the poor misunderstood Tiger Woods.  I’m sorry, I do not feel the least bit of pity for Woods.  The scripture says “…surely your sin will find you out”…or in Tiger’s case “Shirley your sin will find you out.”   Now, I really do hope he learns from his folly and comes to a saving knowledge of Christ.  Without Christ not one of us are one ounce better than him.  Which brings me to my real point.  When are we going to learn what Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruit…” in other words, do not be taken in by peoples gifting and talent.  We all need to be measured by our character not our talent. 

 When are we going to get this?  Bill Clinton philandered around his entire presidency, took advantage of young women in his employ, and the American voter shrugged and said, “Well at least the economy is doing well.”  The principle here goes for everyone of us.  We are only as good as our character and morality.  How good a golfer, or surgeon, or preacher we might be is irrelevant if there is nothing more behind the us than talent.  When we stand before our Creator and hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant,” it will have everything to do with our character, integrity, and faithfulness and nothing to do with our golf handicap.

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20 Responses to THE EYE OF THE TIGER

  1. Carmen says:

    Just sayin’ it like it is. I like that about you!

  2. Kelvin says:

    Well said… Loved the point when you said that you dont feel bad about what you said.. For we are called to preach the truth evan though sometimes it hurts or people get offended… If we comprimise once it will surely happen again and again… So let us stand on the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ OUR Lord AND Savior!!!

  3. Steve says:

    I’m guessing Tiger, although rich and famous, has what most of us has or had.I’m talking about a deep and horrendous wound that just won’t go away.In his case he could mask over it by screwing around on his wife.I’m sure he did it to feel like he was the man and had the power, but deep down he was doing it to cover some deep dark wound.I’m not going to judge the guy.I’ll bet he’s a poor wounded man underneath.We all are.And I bet the Savior would say to him,”Look at what you did!”Then He would point to the cross and say,”Now look at what I did!”

  4. manny says:

    “Well done good and faithful servant,” – Well done Mark!

  5. Steve says:

    Just so you know Pastor Mark, I think your hilarious and a good pastor.That last comment was just my opinion which is what we’re supposed to do here, right?I’m sure you get people disagreeing with you and making your life harder then it already is so me as a guy who isn’t a pastor want to give you a big hand and say thanks to guys like you we have churches that function and are getting people saved out there.You have a hard job and deserve a big hand!God bless you!

  6. Mark Hughes says:

    Tell it as you see it Stevo…that’s what we do here!

  7. Dennis says:

    Mark’s comments “Tiger on the other hand deserves everything he has coming to him.” and later ” I’m sorry, I do not feel the least bit of pity for Woods.”

    The Bible says “Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

    “Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
    “Matthew 7. 1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

    My observations are that, although Tiger Woods’ sins are real, are we approaching this with any Grace? As fellow sinners and all deserving the wages of sin?

  8. Mark Hughes says:

    Dennis
    That is an commonly made point. And a good one. I do see it differently though. “Judge not, lest we be judged” is not a prohibition but a warning that if we judge we will be judged in return. If the church takes the position that we never judge the behaviour of the world we tend to fall into the same sins. Divorce and remarriage in the church is at almost the same rate as in the world. Tiger Woods is a terrible role model for young people, husbands, parents etc. I for one am willing to be judged for pointing that out. At my core, I know I am no better than him. That’s exactly why scripture reminds us, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”

  9. Isaac says:

    Imagine the witness to the world if Tiger made a complete and sincere turnaround, repented fully and lived hard after Jesus! If he openly and honestly dealt with the sexual addiction, and began to cherish women. He could inspire many to investigate Christ. We should pray for that. He’d be the perfect example that anyone, whose done anything, can be saved by Christ! I used to think the same about Glen Murray. What a witness that would be.

  10. todd says:

    Let me get this straight. Somebody has a billion dollars and is married to a Scandanavian swim-suit model – and he’s lusting for more? Our adoration must be intoxifying. I for one am happy to help him out by continuing my personal ban on all things celebrity. Our media is largely responsible for shifting the human condition toward greed, riches and immorality.

  11. V says:

    Hi, Pastor Mark:
    Thank you for sharing this blog message with us, it is a very good reminder to me personally. Recently, I just had a job interview and I actually was feeling very disappointed of my own performance during the interview. I was clumsy and I was shy and I could feel my voice was shaking when I spoke and my face was all blushed. I felt so bad that because I did not know how to “sell” myself and my skills and probably ruined the opportunity. But after I read your blog message, I felt relieved. Your message is so comforting to me as you remind us that it is not how much we can impress this world with our gifts and talents, but it is more important whether we do build up ourselves according to God’s will, and live out the character of Jesus. I always hope that I can utilize His gifts to glory Him in the world, but now He taught me that it is more important and should be my prime goal to build up a character like Him and remain as a faithful servant like Abraham and it would be a greater testimony and achievement I can make in the world. Thank you Lord and thank you Pastor Mark.

  12. David John says:

    Pastor Mark you are truly anointed of The Father !! He has given you a great gift to be able to speak modern day parables to suit the times we are in. I have been observing you for about 2 years now and I have enjoying the humor that you have instituted for the glory of The Father.Keep up the good work ,it is Pastors like yourself that are doing the Lords Will for this generation. God bless you and an anointing on you and all the other Pastors in Christ Jesus.

  13. Evelyn Bennett says:

    Haven’t you noticed whenever a man falls due to his weaknesses he points blame somewhere else? When he was asked about his infidelities he denied it. Then tried discreetly to pay off those very women he slept with. When it comes to the world’s big problems which are made by man, do not want to admit it.

    Men were created to be leaders. However they were not to use this power for lustful gain. They were meant to enlarge the kingdom of God. God created us and he definitely can punish and take out of this world. We can only be freed by repenting for our sin. This we cannot pay for, because Jesus already did.

  14. Linda says:

    I’m definitely looking forward to more talk about Jesus and I sense what Tiger would appreciate is a good friend. Sure a good friend will tell you things you don’t want to hear, but then they will also stand with you in difficult times and help show you the way. He wants to know more about Jesus…what an opportunity you had! Love never fails.

  15. todd says:

    Linda, tiger is searching for that message/opportunity himself – on a $20,000,000 yacht named “Privacy”. He doesn’t want to be caught just yet. Humility has to set in for a while and then he’ll be tame enough to save.

  16. Karen says:

    Just when I need a good laugh, you have some great cartoons!
    Maybe Tiger should have thought about living his life differently if he didn’t want to be talked about. Or maybe is that the point? Was his publicity failing that he needed to do something to attract attention? Bad press is sometimes better than “no” press.

  17. Rick says:

    First let me say that I have a great deal of respect for you Mark. My thoughts on Tiger are perhaps a little different then yours. When my adultery was exposed several years ago I was very embarrassed, humiliated and shamed and for a time I believe it was good for me and I think the same goes for Tiger. The last thing I needed (and I believe Tiger) was for people to mock, slander or ridicule me during that time. I don’t feel sorry for Tiger however I understand what he’s going through and I understand you reap what you sow in life. When I look at Tiger’s situation and adultery in the Bible I think of passages about Mary Magdeline, The woman at the well (John 4) and The woman caught in adultery (John 8). Every time Jesus had grace, mercy & compassion for these individuals. Shouldn’t we follow His example and not mock Tiger?
    I’ve been tempted to joke about Tiger or slap him down because of what he’s done however I’m reminded of what Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

  18. Victoria says:

    Hi, I watch your show every Sunday,and last Sunday you were dealing with the question “Can I still be a Christian if I don’t go to church?” and your answer was so right….”Yes you can still be a Christian and not go to church……………..just not a very good one.” I pride myself on trying my best to be fair and treat others with respect, I have overcome sexual abuse from my father, I have overcome drug abuse, I have overcome my agoraphobia, and I have overcome my infidelity in my marriage, and I owe it having faith in God and praying and watching your show. You make me proud to be a Christian, you always make sense, and make me laugh. AND you make my husband sit down and consider every word you say….which in itself is a miracle because he often doesn’t give anyone a chance to speak or think, let alone preach about God.I think his heart is heavenly, and his brain is ungodly at times, you have helped him chill out about alot of stuff. Thanks for being there on the days I can’t make it to church.
    Victoria

  19. AL says:

    Interesting to see that my comment no 26 sent last thursday had vanished !!
    Well the response that you wrote is sufficient to know that you have read it and taken it on board.
    Hope you continue to pray for the brethren that they may be restored and that for God a 10 million $ house is just a little dust off His street and He can give His servants whatever thay desire!!
    God bless you and your ministry

  20. Hey Al,
    Your commented hasn’t been deleted. It’s still there: http://churchoftherock.ca/blog/?p=507#comments
    This blog is always open to all opinions!

    Tim (Web guy at Church of the Rock)

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