Adulterers: Tiger Woods and Me

Adultery. I hope I don’t commit the sin in 2010, but there’s a good chance I will.

As Tiger Woods’ alleged multiple affairs became public knowledge at the end of 2009, the world witnessed the destructive nature of adultery writ large. As Woods’ private sins were exposed, his wife and two children, his career, his friends, his business partners, and even the stock prices of his corporate sponsors suffered. Yes, adultery is destructive.

I don’t know of anyone except the deceased writer Ayn Rand who sanctions adultery as a moral good. As government intervention skyrocketed in 2009, so did sales of Rand’s opus magnum, Atlas Shrugged. Neither of Rand’s adulterer characters in her 1,000-page novel repents of their sin when their affair becomes known. In fact, the female character, Dagny Taggart, divulges the affair on national radio:

“I am proud that he had chosen me to give him pleasure and that it was he who had been my choice. . . . And to such among you who hate the thought of human joy . . . I am now saying: I wanted him, I had him, I was happy, I had known joy, a pure, full, guiltless joy, the joy you dread to hear confessed by any human being, the joy of which your only knowledge is in your hatred for those who are worthy of reaching it. Well, hate me, then—because I reached it!”

After the broadcast, Taggart’s adulterer partner, Hank Rearden, said to her:

“We are those who do not disconnect the values of their minds from the actions of their bodies. You said it in your broadcast tonight.”

Although I agree with much of Rand’s thought on economics, her philosophy of sexual ethics just doesn’t square with my view of “Thou shall not commit adultery.” So, why do I say there’s a good chance I’ll commit adultery in 2010?

I’m not speaking of physical adultery but of spiritual adultery.

Remember the prophet Hosea? God told Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.” In Revelation, the church, believers in Christ, is thought of as the “bride of Christ.” Paul told the Corinthians, “I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a virgin to Christ.” And James said, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Because I’m a sinner, I know there’s a good chance I’ll turn from God and put the things of the world before Him at some point in 2010. I’ll commit spiritual adultery.

Does Tiger Woods deserve to be forgiven by his wife, to be loved again, to be taken back? Likewise, do I deserve to be forgiven and loved by Christ when I turn from him? No, but He forgives the unforgivable through His shed blood. “If we confess our sins,”said John, “[H]e is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from unrighteousness.”

As stories of Tiger Woods’ adultery continue to make headlines in 2010, I’ll be reminded of my spiritual adultery, the price Christ paid for my sin, and His great love.