It’s the question I’ve been asked from time to time.
Should Christians Cheer for Tiger Woods?
I feel like I have grown up with Tiger Woods. I had great aspirations of becoming a world-class college golf player and then on the PGA Tour but those dreams didn’t quite come true. While I was struggling to make cuts, he was winning US Junior Amateurs and US Amateurs. Then, as a senior in high school we witnessed him obliterate the field at the 1997 Masters. Since then he has gone on to become one of the most well-known athletes in history. He motivated millions to take up the game, buy Nike gear, and hack it with the rest of us. He inspired us to seek greatness. That was until the world discovered Tiger was human in 2009. He then was simply, Eldrick Woods. The superhero Tiger Woods’ kryptonite was revealed in the form of adultery, greed, lies, and the root of it all, pride. What came next was the real horror.
During The Master this year, it was interesting to hear what self-proclaimed Christians were still saying about Tiger.
- Is a fornicator
- Is a cheater
- Always gets his way
- Dishonored golf
- Is a (insert racist slur here)
- Is a crazy Buddhist
- Only cares about himself
Sounds a bit like my 3 and 5 year olds. I confess that it sounds a lot like me too. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t sit in my holy chair and judge others, especially people like Tiger Woods. This scene of judgment is not much different from the pharisees with stones in hand ready to throw at the sinner. There have been some great articles and blogs written about this question of how we biblically should respond to Tiger Woods, most notably in Sojo. I encourage you to read this for good perspective.
Why do I cheer for Tiger?
I cheer for Tiger because
- It will be good for the game of golf for him to win. He brings excitement like few others in history have provided. That excitement has encouraged friends of mine whom would never have played to give it a shot. Golf has suffered when Tiger isn’t on top of the leaderboard. He is not perfect but is striving to earn his way back for the game, for himself, for us. I do get annoyed from time to time when the golf media focuses on him when lesser known players are leading. But I know that it helps everyone financially and professional golf is indeed a business.
- He pursues greatness in golf. He has been humbled in that pursuit but his undaunted spirit is inspirational for any golfer.
- I believe God’s story is about redemption and he may very well be doing some amazing that we don’t know yet in Tiger’s life.
- Tiger’s story isn’t over yet. He still has a golf career and a life to live.
I love the “what if” dreams.
What if we put our rock down and looked in the mirror more?
What if Tiger’s golf comeback is merely the beginning of something bigger in his life?
What if his comeback story leads him to Christ?
What if his redemption story could inspire millions? Inspire me? Inspire you?