Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I’m convinced that, when observing the lives of others, there is a story we know and then there is another story behind the story that we don’t know and may never know. When a man is walking with a limp, we assume there is a childhood injury in his past, or maybe a birth defect, or, maybe he was driving drunk one night and caused a terrible accident and suffered a permanent injury himself. The point is, we rarely ever know the story behind the story. That’s why judgment is God’s business and God’s business alone. Only God knows the whole Tiger Woods story, and the story behind the story.

Besides that, it’s been my experience that, when I’m busy pointing the judgmental finger at someone else’s moral failure, I’m not paying attention to my own steps. Which means that I run the risk of stepping in the very same pothole as did the one I’m judging. Judgment is God’s business.

Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be discerning and doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have boundaries and certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold people accountable. It just means that we never know the whole story, and probably never will.

In the meantime, there is a silver lining in the cloud that will now shadow Tiger Woods the rest of his life. All of this outrage over his infidelities ought to tell us something. It would appear that, despite what we see on television or in the movies, by and large, as a culture, we still hold certain values to be dear. Like marriage instead of just cohabitation. Like marriage instead of divorce. Like staying faithful to your spouse. It would appear that adultery is not all it’s cracked up to be. Like a good habanera pepper, the first taste may be great but the painful kick on the backside just isn’t worth it.

Honestly, I’m disappointed in Tiger Woods, not because he’s Tiger but because of what his choices will mean for so many people. At the same time, my heart breaks for him and his family. He apparently made some terrible choices. I can only wonder what would have become of my life if I had been worth $1 billion by the time I was 30. Not many people ever have the maturity to handle that kind of prosperity well. Is there any chance we can learn something from all of this about the dangers of the false gods of fame and fortune that too often distract us from God?

My only job now is to let all of this serve as a reminder to pay attention to my commitments and responsibilities. All of us are, every day, only one step away from taking a step from which we could never publicly recover. I’ve got all the prosperity and responsibility I can handle. Managing my own life is a full-time job.