When I was playing football (seems like a lifetime ago), we would often say, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Since I have been a Christian, especially since receiving the call to ministry, I have been frequently reminded, “Sin makes fools of us all.”
Much has been made of Tiger Woods and his admission of sins and our collective gasp at the seemingly frequent and foolish indiscretions. I admit to not only being saddened but even shocked at these revelations. Also, I am thoroughly disappointed. My disappointment, however, is not only at Tiger, but even at myself. The self-disappointment is the lack of time I really give to consider the nature of my own sin, and if given Tiger’s situation and opportunity, how might I fair.
The Bible reminds us, “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil” (Psalm 36:1-4).
One popular comedian has said, “A man is only as faithful as his options.” While I would take serious issue with this statement, I am nevertheless left to ponder what might my heart be without the grace of God, the restraining power of the Holy Spirit, a praying wife, and an accountable Christian community of brothers and sisters. Though I like to think otherwise, because of the nature of indwelling sin I am often more like Tiger than I care to admit. To look at Tiger’s life and then to think of him risking all of it for a few (or however many) fleeting moments of pleasure is to think of only one word—foolish. Yet, sin makes fools of us all. And whether it is David, Nebuchadnezzar, Tiger, or me, folly is only a sinful thought or deed away.
The good news is that because we are fools, we are prime candidates for the redeeming grace of God. The Bible reminds us that God redeems the foolish (1 Cor. 1:26ff—at least those who are willing to admit to the folly of their sin). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the everyday reminder that I have been graciously received into God’s Recovery Program for Fools.
And Tiger, while there are millions already enrolled, there is always room for one more. However, you must be willing to say, “Hi. My name is Tony. I am a fool saved by the grace of God in Jesus Christ, my Lord.”