AN OPEN LETTER TO TIGER WOODS
It’s been a rough ride for you and your wife since November 25th, when the National Enquirer broke the story of your adulterous relationship. Although, you apologized last week, many people found it to be “coached,” “fake” and “not enough.” I will not attempt to judge your intents here. Instead, I want to address some questions that someone in your situation is bound to have.
How I play golf and what consenting adults do in private are two separate matters. Not really. Because they both involve character and integrity. How can we be sure that the cheating ends in a hotel room and is not carried over on the golf course? Character is tested by opportunity.
People mess up all that time. Why am I any different? Because athletes and celebrities (including former Presidents) are public figures. You became a role model to millions all over the world, especially kids. You signed deals to promote different companies. Your commercials told us that if Tiger wears or uses something then it is good enough for the rest of us. Remember, people don’t just imitate your golf swing but also your lifestyle. Consequently, it’s not just your marriage that is in jeopardy but the countless others who want to be like you.
I took responsibility for my behavior and apologized. Why do people think I am not sincere? Because people can read between the lines. In your apology you said, “I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don’t know when that day will be. I don’t rule out that it will be this year.” That sounded like a press release of your upcoming tour to many people. Sometimes, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
How can people love me one minute and hate me the next? You’re right. Our society has made gods out of athletes and actors. They worship them until they fail to deliver. Then they tear them to pieces and set someone else up. There is only one God and He loves you unconditionally.
I didn’t think it would go this far. Real friends would have stopped you at the first sign of danger. Potential young athletes are surrounded by adults who are trying to relive their own dreams or fill their pockets or both. In fact, this is a good time to reconsider who your true friends are. Friends don’t let friends wreck their marriage.
This will cost me a lot. It is obvious that the loss of big endorsements might affect your lifestyle. It might cost you a house or two in Florida, Wyoming, California or Sweden. The real question is “Do you want a house or a home?”
I’m Tiger and I have always done it my way. At one time it was inspiring to see you live on your own terms but now it appears unrepentant. What got you here may not take you where you need to go. A wise person recognizes the difference and is humble.
I have a long way to go. You are right. But what you need is not just a plan or a process but a person. His name is Jesus. He will meet you right where you are, just as He did the adulterous woman from Samaria. He did not condemn her but gave her a gift which is also available to you and Elin. Jesus Christ will trade your thirsty life and give you the living water that will “become in you a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Just a Sinner Saved by Grace.