HEY TIGER, GRAZE IN YOUR OWN PASTURE

HEY TIGER, GRAZE IN YOUR OWN PASTURE

Not Tiger Woods!?! He’s too good, too suc­cess­ful. He’s got too much going his way. His wife is a for­mer Swedish model for cry­ing out loud!

Was there any­one any­where in his life telling him to stop? Did any­one say, “Hey Tiger, you’d bet­ter graze in your own pasture.”?

Proverbs 5:15 (NASB95) Drink water from your own cis­tern And fresh water from your own well.

We live in a world today where all the stops signs have been removed. We are told it’s okay to say “Yes,” where God says, “No.” We are told it’s okay to pro­ceed through places where God has placed stop signs. If we’re not care­ful, the results can be catastrophic.

The fact is press­ing on the accel­er­a­tor is much more fun than hit­ting the brakes! But there are times that stop­ping can be just as impor­tant as mov­ing for­ward.

The book of Proverbs con­tains some stop signs that are vital for those who seek to mas­ter the art of liv­ing as God intended. If these signs are ignored, there will be emo­tional, finan­cial and spir­i­tual destruc­tion in your life.

The stop sign I’m refer­ring to is – NO SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE!

Let me tell you what I know right now….there is some­one read­ing this blog who is engaged in an emo­tional and/​or sex­ual affair with some­one other than your mate. Or as a sin­gle adult, you’re involved in a rela­tion­ship like this out­side of mar­riage.  I am not say­ing this as a judge.  I am say­ing this as one with his own bat­tle scars, and also too many years of pastoring.

Let me tell you some­thing else that I know very well….God is com­pletely aware of every detail of our lives.

Proverbs 5:21 (NASB95) For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths.

Now I may not know the details of your affair, but I am very aware that sex­ual immoral­ity is a dis­ease of epi­demic pro­por­tions among both Chris­tians and non-​​Christians. Just today Tiger has acknowl­edged that he and his mar­riage are not per­fect and that there has been infi­delity on his part. It trou­bles me to see some­one of his sta­tus and influ­ence fall. I’m tired of moral casualties.

Solomon had first­hand expe­ri­ence with the dev­as­tat­ing effects of immoral­ity. I’m quite sure there was still some water cooler gos­sip about the cir­cum­stances that led to his birth to David and Bathsheba. Now that was an affair for the his­tory books.

You would think we’d learn from his­tory, but like his dad, Solomon too ignored the stop signs and the warn­ings about graz­ing in his own pasture.

Solomon wrote about it later:

Eccle­si­astes 2:10–11 (NASB95) All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not with­hold my heart from any plea­sure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.
11 Thus I con­sid­ered all my activ­i­ties which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was van­ity and striv­ing after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

The con­se­quences of his addic­tion to sex­ual plea­sure is also listed:

1 Kings 11:3–4 (NASB95) He had seven hun­dred wives, princesses, and three hun­dred con­cu­bines, and his wives turned his heart away.
4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

As wise as Solomon was in other things, he ignored his God-​​given wis­dom when it came to sex­ual temp­ta­tions. With Tiger’s saga, we’ve learned again of the smart ones, the lead­ers, the pub­lic fig­ures that were brought down by the same stupidity.

Speak­ing of Solomon, here’s a Proverb that seems to have been writ­ten directly to Tiger:

Proverbs 5:8–9 (NLT) Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!
9 If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to mer­ci­less peo­ple all you have achieved.

Solomon chose not to learn from his father’s mis­takes. I pray you and I will learn from both of them.

After the fall­out in his own life, Solomon had much to say about sex­ual sin:

Proverbs 2:10–11, 16–19 (NLT) For wis­dom will enter your heart, and knowl­edge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you. Under­stand­ing will keep you safe.

16 Wis­dom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seduc­tive words of the promis­cu­ous woman.
17 She has aban­doned her hus­band and ignores the covenant she made before God.
18 Enter­ing her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave.
19 The man who vis­its her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life.

Proverbs 5:3–5 (NLT) For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bit­ter as poi­son, as dan­ger­ous as a double-​​edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.

Proverbs 6:26–27, 32–33 (NLT) For a pros­ti­tute will bring you to poverty, but sleep­ing with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire?
32 But the man who com­mits adul­tery is an utter fool, for he destroys him­self.
33 He will be wounded and dis­graced. His shame will never be erased.

I could go on…Solomon said more…but I think you get the idea.

He’s not just address­ing mar­ried peo­ple, but sin­gles as well. He’s talk­ing about all kinds of sex­ual sins.

Paul made the same warn­ing in the New Testament:

1 Corinthi­ans 6:18 (NLT) Run from sex­ual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sex­ual immoral­ity is a sin against your own body.

Sex­ual immoral­ity can seize our imag­i­na­tion and stran­gle the emo­tional and spir­i­tual energy of our lives.

How in the world can it hap­pen to a Chris­t­ian? How can we ever risk our fam­i­lies, our pride, our spir­i­tual well-​​being like this?

Proverbs gives 5 fatal fal­lac­ies in our think­ing that leads to sex­ual sin and adultery.

  • It could never hap­pen to me

If you want to avoid a head-​​on col­li­sion with immoral­ity, you need to real­ize that you are very capa­ble of com­mit­ting any sin imag­in­able.  Yep, I said it…any sin.

We must remem­ber we have inher­ited a cor­rupt nature. Because of Adam’s sin, we nat­u­rally crave things that God has marked off limits.

Man is not by nature basi­cally good. Man is by nature a sin­ner! Our fallen nature, com­bined with our active oppo­nent, means that none of us are exempt from sex­ual immorality.

  • I can stop any time I want

Sex­ual sin is addic­tive. Don’t think for one moment that you’re above the law of sin. None of us are. And you don’t just sin a lit­tle bit and then stop. Sin leads to more sin!

2 Peter 2:19b (NASB95) ….for by what a man is over­come, by this he is enslaved.

The ratio­nal­iza­tion any­one involved in pre­mar­i­tal sex, extra­mar­i­tal sex, or pornog­ra­phy, will always grav­i­tate to is, “I can stop any time I want.”

Here’s my def­i­n­i­tion of ratio­nal­ize — ratio­nal lies!

Do you really believe that you can stop any time you want? Then prove it and stop right now!

The Apos­tle Paul said, “I will not be mas­tered by anything.”

  • We are only friends

Those four words are the most com­mon words that lead to affairs.

Most affairs begin as friend­ships that ful­fill some deep emo­tional need in one or both par­ties. We tend to think of affairs as being one-​​night flings, etc. Like Mickey Gilley used to sing, “The girls all get pret­tier at clos­ing time.” That’s not the case.

Most affairs don’t begin in the bed­room, they begin in the heart. And they begin with words….

Proverbs 5:3 (NASB95) For the lips of an adul­ter­ess drip honey And smoother than oil is her speech;

Dr. Den­nis Rainey gives com­mon warn­ing signs of an emo­tional rela­tion­ship that eas­ily leads to adultery:

• You’ve got a need for atten­tion, affec­tion or approval that you feel your mate is not meet­ing and another begins to do so.

• You find it eas­ier to unwind with some­one other than your spouse by dis­sect­ing the day’s dif­fi­cul­ties over lunch, cof­fee or dur­ing a ride home.

• You begin talk­ing about prob­lems you’re hav­ing with your spouse to another.

• You ratio­nal­ize the rela­tion­ship by say­ing that surely God wills for you to talk openly and hon­estly with a fellow-​​Christian.

• You become defen­sive about the rela­tion­ship and pro­tect it.

• You look for­ward to being with this per­son more than with your mate.

• You hide the rela­tion­ship from your mate.

  • If it feels so right, it can’t be so wrong

The power of temp­ta­tion lies in the plea­sure of the temp­ta­tion. Solomon is so adamant against sex­ual sin because he knows the ini­tial exhil­a­ra­tion it pro­vides. The Bible calls it the “plea­sures of sin.”

Solomon never mis­led peo­ple about sex. He acknowl­edged the lips of the lover are like honey ini­tially, but in the end they’re as bit­ter as wormwood.

  • Nobody is get­ting hurt.

You know, most of us under­stand the 10 Com­mand­ments’ pro­hi­bi­tions against theft or mur­der. To steal another person’s prop­erty or take another person’s life is clearly wrong. But what harm is there if two peo­ple, each trapped in a love­less marriage…or two peo­ple who aren’t mar­ried, bring a lit­tle hap­pi­ness to one another? I mean sex is vic­tim­less, right?

The one thing I find inter­est­ing is that Solomon doesn’t describe the pain sex­ual sin brings upon the inno­cent par­ties involved. He doesn’t talk about the other spouse or the chil­dren. Maybe because, in all his wis­dom, he knew how ego­cen­tric we all are. So he detailed the effects of sex­ual sin on the one doing the deed:

Proverbs 6:32 (NASB95) The one who com­mits adul­tery with a woman is lack­ing sense; He who would destroy him­self does it.

He says it will destroy you. And then he lays out three costs we need to con­sider: the phys­i­cal cost, the finan­cial cost and the emo­tional cost.

The Phys­i­cal Cost –

Proverbs 7:21–23 (NLT) So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flat­tery.
22 He fol­lowed her at once, like an ox going to the slaugh­ter. He was like a stag caught in a trap,
23 await­ing the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird fly­ing into a snare, lit­tle know­ing it would cost him his life.

Sex­ual sin is set­ting your­self up for all types of phys­i­cal health prob­lems. Oh and by the way, I know the big thing is prac­tic­ing safe sex. Friend, your sex is not safe until it passes judgment.

The Finan­cial Cost –

Solomon said you could be reduced to noth­ing but a loaf of bread if you keep going to pros­ti­tutes. I’ve seen peo­ple lose jobs, lose half their prop­erty, lose their retire­ment, lose houses, and on and on. Then there’s law­suits, sex­ual harass­ment cases, etc.

There’s a rea­son why 80% of men and 73% of women report a lower stan­dard of liv­ing 10 years after divorce.

The Emo­tional Cost –

Some say, “I know there are phys­i­cal risks and finan­cial risks, but to have some­one truly love me, I’m will­ing to take that risk.”

Don’t for­get the emo­tional cost. The anguish of los­ing chil­dren, sleep­less nights, work­ing hard to keep the ball of lies rolling.

One study of men, 10 years after divorce, showed that:

33% were intensely angry

50% ended up in divorce again

80% expe­ri­enced a lower qual­ity of life

Many saw their kids emo­tion­ally damaged

50% under age 50 were unhap­pily remarried

66% over age 50 were unhap­pily remarried

The only way to expe­ri­ence the sex­ual and emo­tional ful­fill­ment we all crave is within the secu­rity of a com­mit­ted, lov­ing mar­riage part­ner­ship! Unfor­tu­nately, the wis­est man who ever lived had to go through the Uni­ver­sity of Hard Knocks before he fig­ured it out:

Proverbs 5:18–21 (NKJV)  Let your foun­tain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a lov­ing deer and a grace­ful doe, Let her breasts sat­isfy you at all times; And always be enrap­tured with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be enrap­tured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seduc­tress?
21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He pon­ders all his paths.

This last verse under­scores the great­est argu­ment against immoral­ity. Don’t make the mis­takes of David by con­fus­ing God’s mercy with God’s tol­er­ance.  Just because judg­ment doesn’t come imme­di­ately, does not mean it won’t come.

The price is just too high. Hey Tiger, you and I need to graze in our own pasture.


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17 Responses to “HEY TIGER, GRAZE IN YOUR OWN PASTURE”

  • Ron M. December 3rd, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Truly a superbly writ­ten arti­cle and a ‘must read’ for Chris­t­ian sin­gles and mar­ried cou­ples of all ages.
    Thank you Pas­tor Scott!

  • KJM December 3rd, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Thanks Pas­tor Scott!!

  • jacob lowery December 3rd, 2009 at 4:27 am

    whoa man.…so great.

  • @therichieallen December 3rd, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Wow… Absolutely bril­liant arti­cle! The ease with which we can fall into the same trap of desir­ing the \“other fields\” is frightening.

    God pro­tect us from mak­ing these same mis­takes. May we learn the les­son from the lives of oth­ers rather than see the results of our base behav­ior man­i­fested in our own lives.

  • @therichieallen December 3rd, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Wow… Absolutely bril­liant arti­cle! The ease with which we can fall into the same trap of desir­ing the \“other fields\” is frightening.

    God pro­tect us from mak­ing these same mis­takes. May we learn the les­son from the lives of oth­ers rather than see the results of our base behav­ior man­i­fested in our own lives.

  • K. Wall December 3rd, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Pas­tor Scott,
    Thank you for telling it like it is. I firmly believe that if those con­tem­plat­ing these kinds of rela­tion­ships would count the costs as you’ve out­lined above and con­sider what it would be like to lose every­thing and every­one they love, they would know that it is not worth it. If they took a moment to con­sider los­ing the respect of their chil­dren and their tes­ti­mony, surely they would choose to resist temp­ta­tion. If they knew how long and hard the recov­ery process was, they would run for their life. But some­one must tell them… Thank you for your bold­ness to share the Truth in love.

  • chuckm December 3rd, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Pas­tor Scott, wow! Your article/​blog had so many great points. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Doc December 3rd, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Not only does he preach it — he lives it. Known this guy for 40 years, he’s the real deal.
    Thanks Pas­tor for shar­ing your wis­dom, alot of Bishop in those words.
    Doc

  • Scott Hutchinson December 4th, 2009 at 5:30 am

    The wages of sin,is still death,if one trans­gresses the moral prin­ci­ples of God,there is con­se­quences to pay.
    This is not legalism,but a prin­ci­ple of truth.
    Thanks for the sober­ing reminder.

  • Ira king December 4th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Pas­tor, you really blessed me!!!!! my heart rejoices off the truth!
    Food for thought:
    Sin will take you futher than you wanna go! .…it will keep you longer than you wanna stay! .….it will cost you more than you intended to pay! .….in the begin­ning, sin wont ask for much, .….but in the end, .….sin will take every­thing you got!!!!!

    Ira dafunk_​3​3​@​yahoo.​com

  • Joyce Jones December 4th, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Absolutely bril­liant, Scott! You never cease to amaze me! There’s so much truth to your article…oh, that every sin­gle and every cou­ple would read this and let it soak in…we’d see a lot less heartache, bro­ken fam­i­lies and indi­vid­u­als. There’s noth­ing that takes the place of being “true blue”.…and I speak from expe­ri­ence and what a won­der­ful mar­riage I enjoyed for 51–1/2 years with your father! WOW!! In every­thing give thanks to God!

  • Craig McCracken December 11th, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Excel­lent!

  • L.D. January 29th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Yes, it’s all true every bit. Yet thru all the pain there is hope-​​a real hope and real restora­tion. So if your caught in it-​​on either side-​​if you are the one who has done the betray­ing, or if you are on the hurt­ing end-​​I pray that God heal every wound-​​let you see hope in their repentance-​​and you meet your God in a way that you never have before-​​You may not see it in the middle…but hold on…that is what faith is, it IS the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED for…We have not suf­fered to the point of death of the cross, so we will be o.k. God works all things together for those who love Him and are called accord­ing to His purpose-​​the pur­pose of rec­on­cil­ing man to God-​​we are all in this together-​​increasing the place of His habi­ta­tion in our heart-​​we in His nature were cre­ated to forgive-love-restore-reconcile…but how will peo­ple know unless we are sent..and tell them…and how will we ever really tell unless we have walked it out. Love you all-​​In His Service

  • CBaez February 19th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Amen Pas­tor!!
    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not ful­fill the lust of the flesh. (Gala­tians 5:16) Walk­ing in the Spirit. That’s the key to over­com­ing the flesh. If you fol­low the prompt­ing of the Spirit of God within you, you won’t be dom­i­nated by the pres­sure your flesh (soul) tries to put on you..!!!
    Many Bless­ings to you n Ms. Melanie :)

  • Ivey February 19th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Sad thing is, there is as much infi­delity inside some churches than out­side in “the world”! Thank God for His grace and mercy that a per­son can be restored BUT, they will still reap what they’ve sown-​​there are vis­i­ble actions and unin­tended consequences.…Nice post.

  • ETroutt February 19th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    I’ve never heard any­thing on this sub­ject mat­ter said any bet­ter! This really needs to be cir­cu­lated amongst all the churches. It’s a very sober­ing cau­tion for all of us!
    Thanks Pas­tor Jones for car­ing for us enough to tell it like it really is!
    This will not soon be forgotten.

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