I am Tiger Woods. That was a compelling Nike Ad when Tiger burst onto the public scene over a decade ago. But it’s true. I really am Tiger Woods. Seriously. Don’t believe me?
No, I’m not the world’s number one golfer. I’m not worth even a minuscule fraction of a billion dollars. I have no endorsement contracts (unless you include being sent a pre-release of Mark Batterson’s new book, Primal for a blog review). And no (my wife and mother will be so relieved), I haven’t fallen victim to “infidelity” or “transgressions” that would fill tabloid journals and pop-culture news programs.
But I could.
(the ugly, transgression thing…not the world’s number one golfer or billionaire endorsement thing…just to be clear)
That potential exists inside of me. I’m just as broken. Just as vile. Just as selfish. Just as prone to destroying myself and everyone around me. And if you’re really honest with yourself (come on now, you can do it), you’ll admit that you are, too.
My Midwestern Evangelical ingraining used to immediately launch into rants of condescension, condemnation, and arrogant opining. We tend to hide our own propensity for sin in almost gleefully acknowledging it others. But today as I stare in the mirror, I see less of that religious hypocrite and more the face of a Tiger staring back at me.
Without Jesus I’m a complete mess. Unchecked, I am capable of unspeakable evil. I will destroy myself and worse yet, everyone around me. To bury that reality in self-righteousness is to exclude myself from the very grace I proclaim for the world. I’m not suggesting there’s not choice, responsibility, or consequence. But I certainly hope I extend the same mercy to others that I know I so desperately and personally need God to extend to me.
“God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” (John 3:17 MSG)
I am Tiger Woods. And so are you. Do you have the courage to admit it, too?