I was flicking along the satellite channels and came across an interview with a motivational speaker giving out success tips. He said that the secret to success or failure is found in daily habits. The world’s most successful people do daily, what unsuccessful people do occasionally. Exercising daily will get you further than exercising once a month. (So that’s where I’ve been going wrong.) Studying consistently over a year is better than three weeks of cramming at the end.

He elaborated further by stating the regimes of some sports people. He said that the basketball player Shaq O’Neal shoots 500 baskets every morning before breakfast. He then posed and answered a question: “Where was boxer Evander Holyfield the morning after winning his world title? In the gym jumping rope.” He mentioned a few others before ending with, “Where was Tiger Woods the morning after winning the PGA Golf Tournament?….” And before this nice man could proffer his entirely clean and genuine answer, a smutty little voice in my head suggested something very unwholesome. I smirked and then realised it was an unkind thought even if it was about a total stranger. We’re very smug when it comes to others and their misfortunes.

The Woods’ story is a good example of how opinion changed daily as it unfolded rather rapidly. Initially there was the ‘breaking news’ that Tiger Woods had been in a car crash and had been rushed to hospital. There was sympathy and concern. It then emerged that his wife had ‘pulled him from the wreckage after dramatically breaking the car window with a golf club’. That raised a little suspicion. A short time after that we heard Tiger had survived the crash without injury.

More suspicion

That brought relief, but even more suspicion. Personally it should have ended there. Tiger was alright, he could still play golf and whatever was going on in his private life was between him and Mrs Woods.

Sadly, today we insist and thrive on the details. We want to know everything, particularly when it is documenting the downfall of another human being and so the big dig began. Mrs. Woods had wielded a golf club, but possibly to break his skull rather than save him. He had been playing around with a night club hostess. Now we knew he had cheated on his wife and her violence was vindicated. By the time Tiger’s Hottie number three had shown up on the front pages he was no longer a cheating b@**ard, but a man with an illness. We read that Tiger Woods has, sadly, a sex addiction, that is ruining his life. When the women began to creep out of the woodwork and into double figures many ordinary men longed to be as ‘sick’ as Tiger Woods!

There were some unbelievable personal revelations. Sometimes I wanted to watch from behind a cushion. I cringed inwardly when they played a sound file on Sky News, with written text (just in case you had the sound turned down) of a voice message he had left on a woman’s phone. He was asking her to delete his number as his wife was on to him. He was on a damage limitation mission and now the world was exposed to his underhanded attempts to cover his tracks. Sadly every dirty bed sheet he’d been involved with was about to be laundered in full public view and we were all there with ringside seats.

Mistress betrayed?

Most of the women involved in this story were cast as victims. Didn’t they know who he was? It was as if each mistress in turn had been betrayed and that’s why they were willing to sing like little birds. Obviously in our modern world it’s alright to have an affair with one or two, but sleeping with multiple women is outrageous! And finally, the apology. “I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I’ve done, but I want to do my best to try.”

Why would anyone outside of his family be feeling hurt? Why should he feel compelled to ask the public for forgiveness? What gives us the right to hold unforgiveness towards someone who hasn’t done anything of a criminal nature? The man plays a really good game of golf and as far as we know has never cheated in that arena. We have no other business with him. He advertises for a few companies who, no doubt will cut his contract, but that doesn’t make their products bad. I have a pair of Nike trainers. I don’t like them any less since I heard that Tiger Woods paid twenty five grand for an orgy!

Whether he was unfaithful with one or one hundred, he was unfaithful, and now he’s paying the price. His home life sits in tatters around his ankles where his underpants obviously were far too many times in the past few years, but that’s his own concern. The question is, is it any of ours?

Example set by Jesus

When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus for stoning he didn’t ask about the circumstances. He didn’t say, “Was this the first time? Were their multiple infidelities? Who was the man involved, I want to hear his side of the story?” Unlike Sky News, Jesus didn’t bother with debate and analysis or picking over the details. What he did say was, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”. When everyone dropped their stones and slipped away Jesus said, “I don’t condemn you either, go and sin no more”. This is an example not an exception; it is the perfect picture of forgiveness and grace that we graceless news vultures seem to have forgotten in our quest for the full story.