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It was a good day to be a tabloid publisher.  You gotta know you’re going to sell newspapers when one famous guy admits he’s the father of a long-denied love child and another gets photographed (allegedly) at a clinic for sex addiction.  All in one day.  That’s good stuff. If you’re in the tabloid business.

For the rest of us, it’s either great fodder for the watercooler or something to think about in our own lives, and probably both.

I’m struct by the similarities between the stories of Tiger Woods and John Edwards.  Both had torrid affairs, (multiple dalliances for Tiger and one we know of for Edwards) hurt their wives, damaged their children, and had a propensity to deny any of it ever happened.

But here’s the thing that intrigues me, the thing you have to wonder:  Would either man have come forward and admitted his extremely bad behavior had he not been caught?  Me thinks not.

Had Tiger not gotten whacked (again, allegedly) with a golf club by his outraged wife and had Edwards’ former aide not been about to release a tell-all book, they’d probably both still be living in the city of denial.  That’s sad.

It’s sad because redemption and healing can only come when the guilty party comes clean…and not only comes clean but is truly, truly sorry for his actions and the hurt he has caused.  Of course, God is the only one who can really judge whether someone is truly, truly sorry but God’s in the business of gauging these things.  He’s all about forgiveness, He does it a zillion times a day,  and I’m sure just  loves it when one of use recognizes the bad we’ve done and wants Him to love us anyway.

There’s been a lot of talk about the wives in these stories, Elizabeth and Elin.  And there should be.  They are the ones who’ve been betrayed.  They are the ones these guys said vows to.  And maybe one day both women will be able to forgive their husbands, whether or not they stay married. 

But at the end of the day what’s most important is how Tiger and John Edwards move forward from here.  True healing will only happen when they can get on their knees and say, ‘You know what God? I screwed up. I screwed up big time. I hurt a lof of people and I’m sure I hurt you.  And truthfully, I”m glad I got caught because now I can honestly face what I’ve done.  I know there’s power in forgiveness and I’d like to tap into some of  that.  Forgive me. Help me to forgive myself.  Help those I hurt to forgive me.  I want my new life to begin today, right now, and all the horrible things that I’ve done to be wiped clean.”  (We Christians believe that’s only possible thru the blood of Christ.)  They say that and really mean it and it’s done. Done.  God will not only forgive them, but give them the power to move on.

We may see Tiger back on the Tour this Spring and chances are his career will survive this.  John Edwards’ political career may be over but he’s a smart guy and will no doubt come back in some form.  We may never know what happens in their hearts, between them and God.  Or then again, we proably will. Being famous guys I predict hefty book deals down the road.  We can only hope for sincere transparency.  After all, enquiring minds want to know.

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