Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I have been thinking about forgiveness a lot lately. Pastor Dave preached an incredible message this past weekend about it. Tiger Woods stood before the world and for about 13 minutes asked for forgiveness. Because Friday is my day off I was able to watch and listen to the TV announcers talk about what they thought would happen and should happen in Tiger's statement.

As I listened to people on a variety of stations, from ESPN to CNN to Fox News, I was surprised at how much they wanted to define repentance and forgiveness. It was as if they were chained up to the belief that Tiger was perfect and he really hurt them by his actions. They wanted him to say to them exactly what they wanted to hear.

As I listened, I began to ask myself, is saying, "I'm sorry" and genuinely meaning it no longer sufficient? Is the act of repentance no longer adequate in the eyes of today's society?

I realize that when someone asks for forgiveness, we have the power to grant it or not. I wonder if the pull of that power is greater than the act of releasing the person.

I listened to Tiger's speech. I thought it was good. I didn't think he owed me an apology, but I appreciated the act as a recognition of what he did was wrong. He does have influence over millions of people.

As I listened I heard the still, small voice of God remind me that I am a forgiven sinner. I am able to forgive because I have been forgiven of so much by my heavenly Father. I am a receiver of grace, more than I can even imagine.

Then later as the news casters of all of those stations re-capped the Tiger Woods' story, I began to hear something that totally blew me away. People started saying that he didn't do enough. He didn't show enough emotion. He didn't say the right words. He didn't apologize to all the different groups of people he needed to apologize to. It was at that moment I decided not to watch any more. I couldn't take it any more.

I know I am not perfect - far from it. I hope and pray that when I wrong someone and ask for forgiveness they will grant it. I hope and pray that when someone wrongs me and asks for forgiveness that I will grant it - no strings attached. And as Pastor Dave reminded us this past weekend, I hope and pray that I will give forgiveness before it is even asked of me because then I am truly free.

As I listened to the reporting of the Tiger Woods' story, I wonder, how many of them are truly free? Are you?