The anticipation of his speech had been building for quite a few days. Only a select group would be allowed to hear his words in person. Security was very tight. The room was draped in dark blue curtains. A simple podium was ready for his use. His speech would be a little over thirteen minutes. There would not be an opportunity for anyone to ask follow-up questions. What would this man say? What would his demeanor be? This is not the speech of a politician or world leader. Whether you know anything about golf or not, you’ve probably heard of Tiger Woods. His rise in the sport of golf was spectacular. Some would say that Tiger Woods is golf and that golf is Tiger Woods. His speech has been criticized by some as fake, while others point out how genuine he was. Tiger has suffered in many ways for his sin. Tiger has had many people counseling him what he should say in this speech and what he should do. I wasn’t asked, but here is my advice for Tiger.
First, he needs to put God before golf. There’s nothing wrong with golf or other sports. However, this man’s life was consumed with it. Paul reminded Timothy that “bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). We need to keep our perspective focused on what is most important. There are those who have given up their soul so that they may gain the world (Matthew 16:26). Tiger isn’t the only one to be afflicted with this problem. The prodigal son (Luke 15) and the young rich man (Matthew 19) allowed their possessions to get in the way of them serving God. Each of us need to continually make sure what is first in our lives (Matthew 6:33).
Second, Tiger needs to allow sorrow to turn him to the Savior. Is Tiger sad because he was caught? Does he have sorrow because he has lost endorsements? Are his tears because he isn’t playing golf now? “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:9, 10). There is a sorrow of the world that is not profitable. However, godly sorrow will lead us to repentance. Sin, because of its consequences, ought to bring sadness to all that are involved. Tiger Woods repeatedly acknowledged that he was the one responsible. He should desire forgiveness from his family, sponsors, followers, etc. These people may freely forgive. He needs to be forgiven by God (Genesis 39:9). His adultery can and will be forgiven if he obeys God (Hebrews 5:8, 9).
Third, Mr. Woods should look to the Bible not Buddha. During his confession, Tiger said that he was raised as a Buddhist by his mother. He said until recent years he had faithfully practiced that religion. Perhaps you’ve seen a statue of Buddha. It is a religion based on the teachings of Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Its followers are searching for Nirvana. The teaching of Buddha is not going to set Tiger free. Only by following the word of God (John 8:32; 1 Peter 1:22) can this be accomplished. The Bible is the revealed word of THE God (Acts 17:20-28). The world may have many “gods” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6) but there is ONLY one. This one God has given one word (Ephesians 4:4-6). Those who follow this word are not searching for Nirvana but heaven (John 14:1-3).
How will this tale of the Tiger end? Sin will cause the mighty to fall (2 Samuel 1:19). It is no respector of persons. We would plead with him and others in sin, to turn to God, the Savior Jesus Christ and His word.