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Can We Forgive Tiger Woods for Shouting ‘Jesus Christ’ in Vain?


There’s plenty of talk this week about golfer Tiger Woods got a little upset after missing a putt during the first round of the British Open on Thursday.

Apparently, the golf star took the Lord’s name in vain, shouting, “Jesus Christ! Guys!” to photographers on the sideline after he was distracted and stopped in the middle of his swing on the 18th hole.

Unfortunately for Woods, ESPN caught in on tape and it upset plenty of Christians. I get it—and, of course, God doesn’t like it either.

Exodus 20:7 says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” Some translations say, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord.”

Tiger is guilty as sin. But Jesus Christ still loves him and before we throw stones we should make sure the words of our own mouth are acceptable in His hearing (see Psalm 19:14).

I’ve heard plenty of Christians exclaim an expletive about God damning this or proclaiming “thus saith the Lord” as they manipulate the sheep for money.

Usually, ESPN doesn’t catch Christians on camera misusing the name of the Lord—although often Christian television stations do. Either way, we ought not do it.

I’m reminded of Psalm 111:9, “He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.”

So before we start crucifying Tiger for his outburst, let’s clean up our own speech. After all, Jesus Christ warned us that we will give an account for every idle word we speak (see Matt. 12:36). Amen?


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