Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Can Money Buy?

It used to be that once your reputation was damaged very little could ever fix it. Men have spent most of their life building a reputation of dependability, honesty, reliability, loyalty and at times transparency. Men lived with the realization that a life time of reputation could be destroyed in a single moment of thoughtlessness, indiscretion, or criminality. Money can buy a good many things but can it buy back a reputation?

We fast forward to today where we see that in some cases, tearful apologies, tell all books (where the blame is fixed on others), or the donation of large sums of money can buy public forgiveness. In keeping with my convictions based on biblical principles I am not going to judge the motives of Tiger Woods. I will not enter the ring of accusations that this is just a ploy to purchase good will. I will leave that to Tiger Woods and his maker.

It is reported that he is considering donating $3 million to send doctors and medical supplies to Haiti. One online report states:

"Tiger Woods is working on sending a mobile hospital with 50 EMTs to go set up a triage," Simmons said Wednesday night, according to the Daily News.

Giving of money and resources to help others less fortunate is one of the reasons that God gives and allows each of us to make or earn money. Money is not to be hoarded nor is it used simply to satisfy our lusts, coveting, or to obtain what we envy.

Tiger Woods, as a reported billionaire, is certainly in the position where he can take some of the fortune that God has permitted him to accumulate and share his fortune in this horrific event. It is my hope that his decision is motivated by deep compassion, grief, and horror of those who have been so unbelievably devastated.

The backlash of this seemingly angelic gesture is that it can also buy a load of public forgiveness prematurely. There is no doubt Tiger Woods has suffered tremendously since his adulteries have surfaced. It seems his wife has moved out of their home, his public imagine is in shambles, and sponsors have been dropping him like flies.

It does not take a rocket scientist to know that Tiger Woods would love to either, rewind the clock and undo all the damage or to just have it go away. He has a “long row to hoe.” There is much work ahead of him in order to “earn” private and public forgiveness.

The steps of forgiveness and reconciliation are extremely difficult. They are taken by very few who realize that humility, confession, restoration , and accountability is possible and these pave the pathway back to integrity.

Tiger Woods needs to take this next year off from golf. He needs to expend the same determination, concentration, and dedication to reconciling with his family. It is my prayer that he doesn’t not rely on this monumental gesture to short-cut the process and buy back his reputation.

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