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Tiger's transgressions

Tiger Woods in the headlines
Tiger Woods in the headlines
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

After reading his statement on his website today, I found Tiger Woods' use of the word "transgressions" interesting. It's not a word we typically use in conversation. However, it is a word used frequently in the Bible. Vine's Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words describes the meaning of the word as "overstepping."

Psalm 32 uses the word "transgressions" prominently. King David authored the psalm as a confessional song as he reflected on his sin and asked forgiveness for his transgressions. Verse 5 reads: "Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord ‘- and you forgave the guilt of my sin." What sin was David guilty of? Adultery, of course. You can throw murder in as well, since David intentionally sent Bathsheba's (the woman with whom he committed adultery) husband to the front lines of battle, knowing he'd be killed, in an attempt to cover up his "transgressions" with Bathsheba.

Although Tiger has stated emphatically that he will keep the details of his "transgressions" private, it's an interesting parallel that he would use such a word in his statement. Tiger may be interested to read that David ended his psalm on an encouraging note: "Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him." The point of the psalm is that God can and does forgive those who are truly repentant. Tiger sounds this way from his statement.

A number of high-profile people (see my article on the Mark Sanford affair) have found themselves having to admit to transgressions in 2009. Average people like you and me are also guilty of transgressions of our own. Do these high profile people influence our society with their troubles, or has our society influenced them in such a way that they succumb to temptations? I'm not sure which is true. However, I am glad that we can be forgiven by a God who desires to be close to us, often times much more than we desire to be close to Him.