(“optical illusion” painting by wildlife artist, Rusty Rust)
Can you see “The Hidden Tiger” in the photo above? (Besides the obvious Bengal tiger there, of course!) Chances are, like your own sin, you are not able to see it unless you are guided into that information. To find “the hidden tiger” in the photo above, concentrate on the words rather than on an image. To find the “hidden tiger of your own sinful nature“, read carefully the words of the Holy Bible which is the only book that truly reveals the wickedness of not only the world as a whole but our own personal sinful nature within. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) I feel sorry for Tiger Woods. Truly. He must feel as if the eyes of the entire world are on him in his most shameful and lowest moment. This man who made himself out to be the role-model of the world. Good guy gone bad? Not exactly. He is just like any other person out there today. Underneath, full of wickedness and personal sins and trying to sell ourselves off as “a good guy”.
The only “good guy” who ever lived, JESUS, when asked a question and addressed as “good teacher”, said, “Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 18:19) The Savior challenged this man’s thinking because he knew that the man addressed Him as only a religious teacher. He reminds him that no mere man merits the title “good”, for that term applies only to God. We know that Jesus was surely no mere man and was not denying His own deity, for later He declares “I am the GOOD shepherd”. (John 10:11.14)
This refusal to be known as “good” is not the humble response that you hear from celebrities today (or ever). They market themselves as good guys and good gals but they are having sex with anything that moves, ruining marriages, taking all kinds of mind-altering drugs and then the world is “in shock” when they finally end up on the front page, dead from one type of overdose or another. (Like the most recent self-destructive Corey Haim, lost boy extraordinaire!) When the latest celebrity dies, the world lifts them up in praise and messages of “RIP” flood the internet even though “peace” was the farthest thing they ever found! They avoid true peace their whole lives and yet somehow we’re supposed to think they found it in death! ??? Yet the worship of man from man continues! One idol knocked down. Prop yourself up another! “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of ?” (Isaiah 2:22) The middle verse of the Bible is known to be found in Psalm 118, verse 8 and warns, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” It is for these reasons that I cannot understand the world’s fascination with a man’s ability to knock a little white ball into a hole in the ground or another man’s ability to kick a ball into a net. WHO CARES?! Jesus knew all about man’s fickleness and desire to lift up a man for their own purpose. “23Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” (John 2)
If you haven’t seen the Tiger Woods apology, here it is in full. I think it’s interesting to READ the transcripts yourself. If you wish to read them, here are the transcripts.
There is a lot of debate about whether he was sincere or not. That, only God knows. But being “sorry” about something does not necessarily mean that your sin/crime has been dealt with. Imagine the justice system if someone merely “felt sorry” after every offence and no punishments were dealt out. We would call the judge in that case crooked for letting guilty parties go free. We Christians know that our sins were dealt with and “paid in full” on the cross. Many believe that he is only sorry because he was caught. That seems most likely as he had a string of at least 14 mistresses over a long period of time. Wow!
There are plenty of reactions about the whole Tiger fiasco. I want to take a look at 6 popular reactions to the Tiger Woods scandal and then some verses from the Bible relating to each of these thoughts.
1) “It wasn’t his fault. He’s only human.” While it may be true that we are all only human, this does not make it okay to do whatever we want and then justify all things with this “I’m only human” excuse! “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) The reason the world loves this thinking is that they do not consider that there is a Judgment Day coming where all will be held accountable before a Holy and Just God.
2) “Leave him alone. That’s between him and his family, not the rest of the world.” Really?! If so, why did he himself feel the need to broadcast his apology? Because he knows that this is not something only personal but effects/affects many people. People are influenced by others. Period. “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. (James 4:1-2)
3) “He’s a dirty dog and just an example of what men are really like.” This thought is a popular one with feminist nazis (many in North America) who believe that all evils of the world can be blamed on men. Contrary to what these twisters of truth believe, men and women are equally wicked and lost. It takes two to tango! The women who blame men only are not unlike the men of Jesus’ day who brought only the woman caught in adultery to have her stoned with no mention of the man involved. They have simply changed gender in the blame game. “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)
4) “Good for him. He earned it. If I had his money I’d do even worse. Tiger’s the man!” This is one of the most disgusting responses to the media outpouring over his transgressions. People not only okay his sin, but they cheer it on and state that they ENVY him. Such men add fire to the incendiary claims of the previously mentioned feminists. I can only hope that such men do not have families of their own…”…they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:31-32)
5) “He is a great player and that’s all I care about. He can go with as many women as he likes. I don’t care.” Although this thought is not that different from the previous argument, these people do not so much cheer on Tiger and his likes as they do try to distance themselves from any sense of morality or right/wrong. VERY popular in today’s atheist, “away with God and morality” generation! These are the same people who said “who cares” about Bill Clinton and his shenanigans with Monica Lewinsky or other politicians who are exposed to scandal; no concern whatsoever for the moral condition of a man who is in office. “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6)
6) “He is human and has sinned. He needs to come to Christ to truly be forgiven, made right with God and to start to change his life.” Now here is something I can agree with. This was something declared in the following video by Brit Hume. Tiger stated in his so-called apology, “People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.” I would argue that no matter what we are taught, it doesn’t help overcome our sinful nature. Only God can do that! “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15-27) The world gets upset when people start talking about Jesus. Interesting. It’s okay that he refers back to his “Buddhist faith” (which did him no good whatsover in overcoming his sinful nature) but for someone to suggest that he needs Christ is considered “unacceptable” in this “anything but Christianity is okay” world that we live in. Exactly what Jesus predicted and promised in this adulterous generation.
“I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.
I was wrong. I was foolish. I don’t get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife’s family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me.” (Tiger Woods)