Wagging Fingers or Bended Knees?
Like you I’m sure, I have been both shocked and saddened by the unfolding scandal that swirls around living golf legend Tiger Woods.
The saga perhaps impacts me a bit more than the average ‘Jane’ since golf played a big part in my growing up years. My father loved (and still at the age of 78 loves) the game. In fact, we had a golf green in our back yard growing up. My dad still works part-time as a ranger on the course in the summer. (The guy who drives a golf cart around making sure everyone is following the rules and letting others ‘play through’.) My boys also love the game and have always looked up to Mr. Woods.
Oh, and my young world was rocked by a parental affair that resulted in a divorce and still affects me to this day.
So, upon hearing of the first infidelity, I was disgusted. As more were revealed, my disgust turned to anger. “How in the world can a man do something like that and affect his spouse and kids in such a negative and devastating way?!?!” This will impact his wife and children for years! I know first hand.”
My self-righteous finger began to wiggle and wag.
Then, I remembered something about a little saying; a saying that said every time to point a finger at someone else, three of your own fingers are pointing back at you.
This is how God whopped me upside the head a day or so with that little finger pointing ditty.
Yes, adultery is sin. However, Jesus Himself once said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5: 27-28)
Looking with lust is a sin too. Can I assert that I have NEVER done that?
My fingers point at me; the guilty one, times three.
Now in my younger days, that was more of an issue. What about now? Is my heart always pure toward my God-given husband?
Now it looks (and sometimes sounds) more like this:
“Why can’t you be handy like so-and-so’s husband? He can fix anything! We, however, always have to call a repair man. I wish you were more like Mr. So-and-So”
Or, “Did you hear? Joe took Susie on a cruise. (Or bought her a diamond anniversary ring. Or surprised her with a spa get-away. Or had a dozen roses sent to her. Or this. Or that.) “Must be nice to have a romantic, thoughtful husband! Wish I had one!”
Hmmm….wonder what Jesus would say about lusting after someone else’s husband’s personality or skills too?
And what about my other repeating sins? Yes, Mr. Woods had multiple affairs.
I have multiple outbursts of anger.
Anger can be a sin too.
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19-20.)
How many times have my angry words negatively affected my husband and kids?
I think of the time when Kenz was about six and Mitchell three. I happened by the room where they were playing Legos. As I approached the room, I heard Mackenzie’s voice pipe up as she expressed to Mitchell her immense displeasure. You see, he was not stacking the colorful, snap-together, plastic blocks in a manner that suited her. As I neared the door I heard her sharply declare “No, Mitchell. Not that way! Oh, just give it to me! Anybody with a brain knows they go like this, not like that. Can’t you ever do anything right?”
Her words, though unkind, weren’t the real issue. What bothered me most was that they were spoken with a caustic, condescending tone. I was not going to let her get away with it.
I stepped into the room and with classic mom form – hand on hip, finger pointed, throwing the child’s middle name in for emphasis, I gave it to her. “Mackenzie Leith Ehman! Young lady, I don’t ever want to hear you talk like that to your brother again!”
Without even looking up from her pile of blocks, she quickly and calmly retorted. “Why not, Mama? You talk like that to Daddy all the time.”
Again, my fingers point at me; the guilty one, times three.
Now, please don’t misread me and think I think we should all just wink at these acts of adultery.
No ma’am. They are wrong. Dead wrong.
However, I have decided that every time I read or hear talk of Tiger’s transgressions, I will not wag my finger; I’ll take inventory of my own heart.
I will ‘mind my own sin’. (As I tell my kids often to do)
And I will pray for God to greatly intervene in the life of Tiger and His family; I’ll beg Him for a restored marriage and changed lives; I’ll ask Him not to make a spectacle of this family for the rest of the world to point and gawk at.
Instead, I’ll ask Him to write a beautiful story of redemption; Jesus-filled redemption, for all the world to see.
Hmmm…. I wonder how many media outlets would care to cover that one.
Will you join me? Many headlines are asking, after reporter Brit Hume’s Sunday morning comments “Can Jesus save Tiger?”
You and I both know, the answer is yes.
If Tiger is willing.
Perhaps he’d be more willing with less wagging fingers and more praying believers.
I’m in. Are you?
Well said, and certainly Spirit-led. My tongue is truly the area I need to work on the most….to have my mouth open with wisdom and have the “law of kindness” in my tongue. Thanks and God Bless!
I made a mistake on my comment. It was the woman at the well (Jn 4) NOT the woman accused of adultery (Jn 8). Nevertheless, his reaction to both was essentially the same he offered redemption not condemnation. :-)
Karen, I am joining you on this.
What a wake up call for me! This ties in with what I’ve been feeling God has been pressing me on. Each time there’s something on the news about Tiger, I feel God pushing me to change the channel or telling me not to read the articles about him. My human, fleshy side of me WANTS to read those latest gossip stories about the Woods fiasco, but my Spirit is deeply saddened for all involved.
I didn’t see Brit’s first talk about Tiger but I did see him on Bill O’reilly and I have to say I haven’t heard a newscaster stand up for Jesus like Brit did in a long, loooong time. He said something like– bring up the name Jesus and it creates chaos. (Not his exact words, but you get the idea). He made a great point that Christianity offers forgiveness.
I certainly don’t have room to point because I have a sharp tongue at times and I’m only recently learning not to pitch a fit if something is spilled.
Thanks for the wake up call, Karen!
Amen. Thank you for a different perspective of this. I think it’s so much easier for us to pay attention to other people’s sins, mistakes and shortcomings rather than deal with our own MESS. Let’s stop talking about our faith and start living it before people… You just reminded me that the woman that was accused of adultery in the bible had been with MANY men and the current man that she was with when she met Jesus was not even her husband. Yet, Jesus did NOT condemn her. She repented of her sin and He told her to go and sin NO MORE.
We all should be careful to not to demonize people for the sins they commit, because our (self) righteousness is as filthy rags.
Hearing your words come out of your child’s mouth sure hurts. Been there. Thanks for the call to prayer. Too often we condemn while we should be committing (it all in prayer). Blessings.
Wow! I was convicted reading that Karen. Most of the time, I naturally feel sympathetic to people in bad situations but have to admit that I am guilty of saying some unkind things about Tiger Woods (like “what kind of person does that?!”) Well, the answer would be…the same kind of imperfect person & sinner the rest of us are actually. Our sins may be different, yet in Jesus’ eyes, there is no difference, we are all sinners. And I loved that Brit Hume pointed out that Jesus can save Tiger Woods. I am praying for Tiger and his family. God can and does work miracles. Jesus saves the undeserving. It is by grace alone that we are all saved! Nothing else.
Bending my knees, as I have from the start. Very sad. And very broken… just like the rest of us, affairs or not.
I totally agree!! I’ve not followed most of this story but have heard bits and pieces and will commit to praying.
Thanks for addressing it Karen.
I completely agree Karen. Whenever there is a story on TV or one shared in gossip about someone who has made a terrible mistake, I always remember Jesus’ words to the crowds wanting to stone the adultress, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” I have absolutely no right to ever judge someone else when I’ve also made some of my own terrible mistakes. It makes it much easier to come alongside them to support their restoration rather than lording my own self-righteous superiority over them. Great article! Thanks for the reminder.
Oh yes, Karen, perfectly said. Almost every time I spout off my self-righteous opinions, my wrinkled, crooked finger points back at me, reminding me of my own ick. I really love that you posted about this, and with Godly wisdom and insight lining the page. Thank you!