What Sergio Garcia Can Learn From Jesus

sergio garciaWatching the recent feud between Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods is like watching a car wreck: I don’t want to see it but neither can I look away.

Perhaps it was best I not look away because now I’ve seen Garcia do something I didn’t think anyone could do—make Tiger Woods a victim.

This last week, when asked about their continuing war of words following The Players Championship and whether he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open, Garcia reportedly said, “We’ll have him ’round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”

Garcia, finally realized he’d gone too far and held a press conference to apologize for his remark.

In the weeks preceding his racist blast, Garcia had said a number of negative things about Woods, and when questioned about those remarks and his reaction to the incident that started it all at The Players Championship Garcia justified his remarks by saying he is a “truthful” person and says what he feels.

The media, which makes its living off of public figures who don’t think before they speak, practically encouraged Garcia, talking about how popular Garcia is because “he wears his emotions on his sleeve.” Garcia even picked up on that remark and parroted it proudly.

And then we saw that the truth of what was in Garcia’s heart—and on his sleeve–was racism. Garcia quickly apologized the next day when he recognized that being a “truthful” person and wearing your heart on your sleeve is not a good thing when what’s in your heart is ugly and offensive.

Jesus said, “A man speaks out of that which fills his heart.” (Matt. 12:34). It doesn’t matter how much public relations training one has had, when the pressure is on or emotions run high it’s very easy to drop the filter between one’s heart and mouth. I’ve written about the importance of discretion here before, and Sergio Garcia would do well to learn that virtue, but more important than that is to deal with what’s one’s heart rather than just trying to cover it up.

I believe when Jesus said we are to be “perfect” as our Father in heaven is perfect He meant we are supposed to be whole, in other words, that there should not be an incongruity between what is in our hearts and what we display to the world.  See Matt. 5:48. The purity we display should be the purity that is in our hearts. That is why Jesus said things like, “You’ve heard it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery, but I say to you that whoever lusts after a woman has already committed adultery in his heart.” (Mattt. 5:27-28).

Sergio Garcia would do well to heed Jesus’ words. Until then, he should at least learn to be discrete. GS