Tiger Woods, Ryan Braun, and The Rest of Us

At first glance at the title you may be wondering what do we have in common with a world famous golfer or a major league baseball player.  The answer is actually very simple.  One day we will stand before God and give an account.  For the longest time the sports world and many others had a love affair with Tiger Woods.  After all for a while he was the Jack Nicklaus of my generation (for those who aren’t familiar with Jack Nicklaus, he was one of the best if not the best golfer of his generation).  Tiger was doing things on a golf course that the average person couldn’t even dream of, and he was winning the major tournaments.  Three years ago however it came out that Tiger Woods cheated on his then wife.  It has been a long three years for Woods.  Just this year it seemed as though he was getting back to his greatness as a golfer.  While at first Tiger was the punch line to many jokes, once he started winning on the PGA Tour again people seemed to forget his past mistakes and start cheering for him again.  While visiting my parents last week with my family I believe my dad made a good observation.  He said “people and the PGA tour don’t care about Tiger’s character as long as he wins or is close to the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.”  My father is exactly right unfortunately.  Even in the midst of Tiger dropping four-letter words just yards away from a microphone and heard on national television, there was no criticism launched at him for it, just talk of how he was playing.  On ESPN golf analyst said a very astute thing during the first round of last week’s British Open after Tiger unleashed a four-letter word.  He said, “either Tiger forgot that there is a camera and microphone close to him at all time, which would be hard to forget, or he just doesn’t care.”  Woods continued his tirades through the week and many people continued to root for Tiger to win his next major championship.  Tiger may be a great golfer, but his character is like his putting this past Sunday, poor.

Then there is a baseball player by the name of Ryan Braun.  Last year he tested positive for a performance enhancing drug (PED).  He was immediately suspended, but then he appealed the suspension.  In the course of the appeal, he threw everyone he could find up under the proverbial bus.  He talked about how everyone should be held to the high standard he is held to.  He went on to say that “I know what did and did not enter my body, and no PED ever entered my body.  I don’t know what happened to my sample in the 44 hours from the time it was collected to the time it arrived at the lab to be tested, but I never took a PED.”  He got the suspension overturned on a technicality.  However, yesterday the truth finally came out.  Ryan Braun admitted to using perfomance enhancing drugs as it related to yet another investigation into him doing it.  After owning up to it, he was suspended for the rest of this year.  Here was a man who for a year and a half denied and lied to everyone intentionally, and only when he thought it would benefit him did he finally come clean.  Ryan Braun’s character much like my beloved Chicago Cubs play this year (and the previous 105 years) is poor!

But what does all of this have to do with us?  Both of these athlete’s stories remind me of a verse found in the Old Testament.  Numbers 32:23 says, “. . . be sure your sin will find you out.”  Let’s be honest, we have all lied about things to people, we have engaged in the “deny till you die” strategy.  There is sin in our life that we hope and pray no one ever finds out.  We go to great lengths to keep it hidden while making sure we control what people think about us.  Our reputation is what people think about us, our character is who we really are, especially when no one is around.  We may be able to fool some people all of the time, all people some of the time, but we are never fooling God.  He sees everything including our thoughts, even the ones we never openly express.  And there will be a day that we will give an account for our life.  A good way to steer clear of a potentially embarrassing situation is this, if you wouldn’t do it with Jesus standing right beside you, then you don’t need to do it at all.  By the way, Jesus is always there!

By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him

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2 thoughts on “Tiger Woods, Ryan Braun, and The Rest of Us

  1. Tiger Woods & Ryan Braun are just two of the many reasons that we as parents (and christian adults) need to be sure our children are not idolizing “superstars”. Children learn best from what they see/hear from others (especially their parents). Instead of us being so focused on our sports teams and winning, we need to be showing our children the true character found in Christ by the example we set (family devotions, church attendance, how we react to situations, how we live our daily routine lives, etc.) If each of us is honest, we all have, do, or will fall short in at least one of these catagories at some point in our lives. As you preached Sunday, we not only need to confess our sin, we need to REPENT of our sin. Then and only then can we be the teachers/leaders our children deserve…adults that won’t lead them astray and possibly turn them away from God and/or give them a fall sense of their eternal salvation.

    • Kim,
      Again you have hit the nail on the head. Our children most often become what they have seen. That is a hard reality, especially for me having 3 boys that I am in charge of not only verbally communicating the truth to but also living it out in front of them. Then when we add Cataleyah into the mix, not only am I to teach her as a daughter, but also be an example to her biological mother as well. Thanks for your comments!

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