Tiger and the Constant Equation

So we read this week that Tiger Woods marriage is officially over. The divorce has been finalized. And although I personally rarely watch golf on TV, I can’t help but notice how badly Tiger Woods has played since the whole adultery thing blew up in his life. No doubt he was playing very good golf while committing serial adultery, but eventually his secret sins came to light as they always eventually do. And then the devastating consequences took over his life, as they always eventually do. Simply looking at the costs in his life from a professional angle, Tiger Woods will end 2010 without winning a major golf championship. That would have been a stunning statement just a few years ago.

Question: How can something like sexual sin have consequences that reach even into our professional lives?

Answer: Because everyone lives inside God’s universe. It turns out we actually don’t get to create our own universe and live by our own rules. We live inside God’s universe. The equations of reaping what we sow are always constant.

And they have been constant over thousands of years.

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament book of Proverbs recently. I read a chapter a day, then read the ESV Study Bible’s excellent notes on that particular chapter. I’ve found it to be reinvigorating to my soul. God’s truth has a way of doing that. As the Holy Spirit uses God’s Word as we bring it daily into our lives, it slowly imparts God’s Wisdom into our hearts, minds, and souls. Wisdom is living our daily lives in light of the reality of God.

And I’m reminded of Proverbs’ Wisdom when I read all the news these days about Tiger Woods.

Proverbs boldly affirms that God himself created sexual pleasure. It’s not a sinful, bad thing, but rather sex is a very good thing when enjoyed within the committed bonds of the marriage covenant. It is a God-given blessing that enhances the oneness and openness and trust and joy of a marriage relationship.

So Proverbs states it audaciously…

“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love” (Proverbs 5:18–19 TNIV).

This is obviously written to a man, but the principles apply to both genders. Now we need to take notice that this biblical passage actually commands married partners to enjoy sex. And sometimes married partners actually DO need to be commanded, or reminded, of such things. Marriage can be hard at times, and sexual intimacy can often be the first casualty of a stressed relationship. So be obedient to God’s word and remember the commandment of this proverb (if you’re married, of course, which is the point).

Sex was created to be a God-given joy and blessing only in the covenant of a marriage commitment. But when experienced outside of that commitment, it actually squanders the true good that it promises. It turns on you and does the very opposite that God created it to do. God created it to be a marital glue that builds trust, but when experienced outside of marriage, it actually makes it harder for you to trust. God created it to build vulnerability and openness in our marriage, but when experienced outside of marriage it actually builds a hardness of heart and a sense of isolation and aloneness. Eventually. You actually lose the very thing you are deceptively promised to gain by it.

This is referred to as the path of the fool in Proverbs. The fool acts in a way inconsistent with the nature of God’s universe. And the equation of reaping what we sow is always, eventually, constant. No matter who we are, sex outside of the marriage covenant will always end up in personal disaster. Eventually. Sexual sin always squanders the very good that it promises us.

So Proverbs teaches us that Wisdom is the means by which God protects his believing people from such disaster (see 2:9–11). And Wisdom includes keeping off paths that one knows will lead to temptation, paths on which many have walked naively to their own ruin.

“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. …A man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:27–29, 32 TNIV).

Even though written some 3,000 years ago, in many ways that’s what we see happening everyday in the lives of all of us who try to grasp at sexual pleasure by creating our own universe of our own rules. Our lives eventually crash upon the rocks of reality. Eventually. The equation of reaping what we sow is always constant. Eventually. Because we all live inside God’s universe. You do. I do. And even someone like Tiger Woods.

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