Anyone else already tired of the incessant media coverage of the latest Tiger Woods scandal?

I just don’t get it.

And to be honest, I don’t fully blame the media. They’re just doing what they do. Reporting on things they know will drive ratings. My problem isn’t necessarily with the sponsors who are either ditching Tiger or standing beside him. They’re just doing what they do- making money.

My problem is with me and maybe you. Why is it that we, as humans, are so fascinated and preoccupied with other people’s public failure?

Why do we LOVE to hate people who have stumbled?

Is it about revenge?

Does it make me feel better about myself?

Does focusing on immorality around me allow me to ignore the immorality in me?

And as Christians, let’s be honest, we’re often the worst about it. And giving up on people like Tiger Woods isn’t a statement on them. It’s a statement on our belief in God’s redeeming work.

Do you believe God can redeem Tiger’s life and past?

Let me ask a more probing question. Do you really WANT God to redeem Tiger’s life?

I remember years ago, my friend Mike Foster wrote a great blog post on how to respond to people going through a scandal. He gave us five suggestions on how to respond. Number three, alone, was a game changer for me that I’ve never forgotten:

  1. You only have so many words that you can share in a day. Decide whether they will be about blessing or cursing someone.
  2. When someone is caught in a scandal, I visualize two buckets that I can fill. I can add to the “Shame Bucket” or the “Second Chance Bucket.” Sometimes my first/easy/fun/human-nature response is to fill the “Shame Bucket”, so I have to work harder not to do that.
  3. For all you online peeps…write your articles, blogs, tweets, and comments as if the person in crisis (and their family) were reading it. Why? Because they do. And the jokes, snarky comments, sloppy facts and flippant remarks hurt people. Instead, devote your computer keyboard to the restoration of people.
  4. Refuse to participate in the gossip session around the water cooler. Or better yet, jump in and turn the conversation towards grace and second chances. BTW, just plan on being called a “buzz kill” and not invited back to any more social functions.
  5. Realize we are either part of the judgment problem or the grace solution. But we can’t be both. So choose wisely.

I love these five suggestions! It’s a great reminder that a “scandal” of any proportion is an incredible opportunity for us to extend the grace that we claim has transformed our lives. We talk a big game about grace until that grace is somehow inconvenient to our life or our agenda. Then it becomes strings attached grace which actually isn’t grace at all.

So I want to encourage you- don’t be afraid to stand up for grace, because it stands up for you every single time.

You don’t deserve it, I don’t deserve it, and Tiger Woods doesn’t deserve it. So go throw grace around like confetti and have a party for second chances.