You know, we all deserve forgiveness – even Tiger Woods

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last Friday, a news media website on my computer opened with the headline, “Do you think Tiger Woods should be forgiven?” and they asked their online readers to vote.

The website listed five answers from which to choose: 1) Yes. He’s human, he made a mistake. Time to move on.  2) Maybe. It’s really up to his wife and family, isn’t it? 3) No. He wronged his family, fans and sponsors, and he blew it.  4) I don’t really care. He’s a golfer! 5) Other.a

A national media study conducted after Tiger Woods’ apology reportedly found 60 percent of the people who watched his apology thought he was sincere when he said he was “deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior.”

When the scandalous behavior of a well-known person like Tiger Woods becomes common knowledge, it makes for embarrassing headlines.  None of us have total anonymity.

The Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.  Each of us shall give account of himself to God.  For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light” Numbers 32:23, Romans 14:12 & Mark 4:22.

The more I thought about the question, “Do you think Tiger Woods should be forgiven?”  I found myself thinking about another question.

“Do any of us deserve forgiveness?” Imagine the whole world knowing every word we have said and every deed we have done.

One of my favorite authors, Ken Boa, writes, “It has been observed that there is no sin so great that God will not forgive, but there is no sin so small that it does not need to be forgiven.”

American theologian Harold Bushnell has written, “Forgiveness is man’s deepest need and God’s highest achievement.”

No matter who we are, or what we have done, God forgives. “The idea that we have outsinned the grace of God is a failure to grasp the height and depth of God’s grace and love,” Ken Boa says. Through the years, I’ve often heard grace defined as “God’s riches at Christ’s expense.”

Through Christ’s sacrificial death, we can receive forgiveness for our sins. Dwight L. Moody once said, “There are two ways of covering our sins: man’s way or God’s way. If you seek to hide them, they will have a resurrection sometime; but if you let the Lord cover them, neither the Devil nor man will ever be able to find them again.”

How do we receive forgiveness?  “If we confess our sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9.  John Newton, the former slave trader who became a minister and penned the words of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” summed up what it means to receive forgiveness.  He once said, “I remember two things: I’m a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”