Just got through listening to Tiger Woods and his scripted and tightly rehearsed apology. It seemed to have all the right elements to succeed as a vehicle that could serve to be the beginning of his public image rehabilitation. Sprinkled throughout it were Christian concepts and words tied to the practice of following Jesus as Savior and Lord - words like "atone" and "grace". Yet Tiger took time to look back at his past and point out that he was raised as a practitioner of Buddhism. He said he needed to return to those roots.
Buddhism is a poor vehicle for the word that apparently needs to be done in Tiger's heart, because in Buddhism, it's still up to you to change your heart. There's no personal relationship with God, only the practice of the concepts and principles of the teachers. It's a try harder faith. And the atonement Tiger spoke of is again tied completely to human effort. What Tiger is going to be up against is going to be far harder than I think he realizes now. Character change is the hardest work of all.
I was mulling all that over, praying for Tiger and his family and a post came into my Google Reader from Michael Wittmer.
The cross is a dagger through the happy talk of "you’re okay, I’m okay" and if we just try harder we can get past our issues and change the world. The center of history is a weapon of torture—imagine holding hands around a guillotine or electric chair and you’ll get the idea. The cross informs us that things have gone horribly wrong, and they won’t be right unless somebody dies.and
That somebody is Jesus.
Jesus died instead of us but not without us. We don’t get away scot free, but are called to take up our cross and be crucified with Christ (Matt. 16:24; Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:1-14).and finally
Salvation is free but it’s not cheap. It cost Jesus his life, and if you accept his gift, it will cost yours. HT Koinonia Blog - Michael WittmerGood words, Michael. Read the whole article folks. It's worth the time to help us appreciate just what we have in Jesus.
Tiger's in the same boat we all are in. We have all "sinned and fallen short", but the answer to that failure isn't to try harder to make ourselves better people. The answer is Jesus. He's paid the price for our innumerable failures and has made it possible through His power to live a new life. Not a patched up and repainted life, but a new one.
Pray for Tiger to find that life along the way.
He was right about one thing though, we have no one else to blame but ourselves for our sins. Thank you Jesus for reaching out to me when I was lost in myself and trapped in my sins.