Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tiger's Confession

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
from Psalm 51

Lent is the perfect time for confession. And for preachers everywhere, this was a gift.

If sermons were as popular as golf, there would be an over/under on the number sermons that will talk about Tiger’s confession and his temptations on the First Sunday in Lent. Maybe even odds on how many times the average sermon will mention him.

Most of the commentaries I read (a word from biblical scholarship now applied to our form of sacred text, the video) talked about Tiger’s scripted performance and how this was carefully designed to restore his image for sponsors.

I may be na├»ve, but that’s not what I saw.

I was amazed at how he repeatedly emphasized that he was the only one responsible for his situation. And he was clear that this was not just a “mistake.” His actions were the result of a character flaw. He was selfish. He felt entitled. He thought that the normal rules did not apply to him. He needs to change.

To me it was as remarkable as that continually replayed shot at the Master’s a few years ago. Real confessions are very rare. People often admit “mistakes.” They will even say that they have lost their way. We don’t admit that we are selfish. And most of the time we try to get others to share our blame.

Only Tiger knows whether that was sincere. But it looked that way to me.

1 comment:

  1. I saw the same thing you did. Tiger looked like a man humbled with the realization that his actions had caused so much hurt to others; and his several comments about taking responsibility for his actions was a big departure from others' media statements we've seen recently. I heard "twelve step" echoes in what he said; and because those programs are based on a higher power (ie God) being in control of our lives, I was encouraged by what I heard Tiger say.