Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tiger Woods: A lesson on the 10 Commandments

Perhaps you’ve heard more about Tiger Woods’ recent “transgressions” (Tiger’s word) than you care to know. The way the media is pursuing the story the assumption seems to be that the world wants to know more.

A strange car accident in his own driveway at a ridiculous hour (2:30 a.m.) in which Tiger drops in and out of consciousness so that he is transported to the hospital. Add to that the sudden revelations of multiple adulterous experiences with multiple women and thus commentary, opinion and poor humor about marriage, infidelity and reputation have exploded upon the American conversation.

Transgression is an accurate word for Tiger. To transgress is to step over a boundary. Tiger commented that he stepped over the boundary of his personal and family commitments and values. Did his boundary come from his private assessment of right and wrong in life? Did his boundary come from the teachings of his parents? Was the boundary established by Elin his wife?

As a follower of Christ my life boundaries are established by God and articulated in His writings in the Bible. Those familiar with the 10 Commandments would identify #7 as the boundary that Tiger transgressed, “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

True, but also incomplete. When one reflects on all of the commandments you see that every commandment actually flows out of the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)

Every time we transgress we not only step over a boundary that God has established but we have also placed another “god” before the Lord God, namely ourselves. We’ve chosen what we want rather than what God commands and have thereby placed ourselves above God.

It remains to be seen how or if Tiger will be able to clear up his transgressions with Elin. I wonder if it is on Tiger’s radar that transgressions have also been committed against God and repairing (or establishing) that relationship is of supreme importance.

I have no condemnation for Tiger. I’m a sinner also. I am reflecting on Tiger’s transgressions as a means to guard my own heart and to maintain my relationship with the Lord.

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