Tag: tiger woods

I’m Glad Tiger Didn’t Win The Masters

I’m glad Tiger Woods didn’t win the Masters this year.  It would have been a great sports headline:  “Disgraced Tiger Redeems Himself in Golf’s Classic Tourney.” Actually, the golf commentators had already begun that line of thought.  They were treating Tiger’s Masters appearance as if a good showing, or even winning, would redeem Tiger’s reputation.

So I’m glad Tiger didn’t win this year.  Normally I’m a Tiger fan, and I did track the Masters and felt a twinge of disappointment especially on Sunday when Tiger played so poorly.  But Tiger is never going to redeem himself on the golf course because his golf game was not the problem.  His character was.  And while we saw a “kinder, gentler” Tiger at the beginning of Masters week, we also saw the frustrated Tiger spew some of his verbal venom when things went wrong again.

Tiger has a long way to go.  I for one wish him well.  I hope his marriage survives and his family is reunited.  But if that happens it won’t be because of what happens on the golf course.  It will be because of what happens in his heart.  After all, redemption doesn’t come at the Masters; it only comes from the Master.  What do you think?

You’re Not That Special

Those called to ministry are not that special, but we do serve a God who is.

Tiger Woods will return to golf at the Master’s in Augusta next month.  Today he did a couple of quick interviews with ESPN and the Golf Channel.  Among other things Woods said was that he felt “entitled” as the world’s number one golfer and world’s richest athlete, to do the things he did.

Having a good sense of oneself is important in golf and ministry.  Ministry can be especially hard on self-perception.  We start off being called by God, which is a pretty big deal, but can be misapplied to boost the ego.  “God called me, therefore I’m special.”

If that’s not enough, we hear it from lots of other folks.  Parents are usually proud of us, as are our spouses, most relatives, and our own church members.  I remember a high school teacher who, when she found out that I planned to enter the ministry, told me that was the “highest calling” anyone could have vocationally.  Some of that may have changed now, but ministry is still held in high esteem in many circles.

But we’re really not that special.  God may have called us, but we must retain a sense of realistic humility.  God did not call us because we were perfect, smart or particularly good-looking, although some of us may fit one or more of those categories.  God’s call had little to do with us, and lots to do with God.

Tiger Wood’s tragedy has been played out in ministry settings on a smaller scale for much the same reason — somebody thought the rules didn’t apply to them, that they were special, above the average, exceptional, and therefore, exempt from having to live life like everyone else.

Remember:  you’re not that special.  Neither am I.  The rules apply to us, too.  We’re not exceptional.  We’re regular people who serve an extraordinary God.  God is the One who is special.  Remember that this week.  It will change your attitude and your ministry.

For Tiger Woods

“We have become so accustomed to thinking of repentance as an unpleasant, though necessary and obligatory rejection of the sin we ‘enjoy,’ that we have tended to lose sight of repentance as a fundamentally joyous, restorative return to life in its fullness.”

— from Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction by John Chryssavgis, page 1.