Having 4 out of 5 golfers in our family with the 5th being a caddy, namely me, you can imagine how much we talk about golf in our house. We often talk about how every shot you hit in a round counts. No “do overs” or “second serves” like in tennis. You count every shot, even if you “whiff one!”
There are hundreds of rules in golf. So many rules that our kids carry a book in their bags to check rules on occasions. The last time I glanced at a rule book, it had over 50 pages. I have been spectating and caddying some for over 10 years now and I still don’t know all the rules! Some of the rules seem so unfair and penalizing at times…..I could list at least 7 rules in golf that I personally think are unfair but nobody has asked me lately. LOL!!!
I am so glad living the Christian life is not about all the “rules!” Unfortunately, many people think that being a Christian is about a bunch of “do’s” and “don’ts” which I find very misleading to people. I am going to attempt to share my view of being a Christian which has nothing to do with being Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc.
It is about a personal relationship with Jesus. It is believing that Jesus was born of a virgin birth. He died on a cruel cross and rose from the dead on the third day. Forty days later He ascended into heaven where He remains until the “second coming of Christ.” The second coming is when Jesus returns to earth to take Christians to heaven.
God doesn’t just sit in heaven. He sends his Spirit, called the Holy Spirit, to live inside of us when we “invite” Him into our heart and lives. We can’t earn salvation; it is a free gift. We either accept it or reject it. We have a choice. Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…and this is a gift of God.” Yes, faith is a choice to believe and invite and then to trust.
I find that people who fall in love with the game of golf don’t mind the rules. They love the game so much that they know the rules keep the “field” fair because everyone has to play by them. As a Christian, as your relationship with Christ grows, it is out of that relationship and the Holy Spirit living inside of you that causes you to want to “live by the laws” that Christ has given in His Word.
Since He created us, He knows what is for our greater good, even if we don’t. He desires the “best” for our lives. He is omnipotent and omnipresent, which means all-knowing of…the past, present and future and everywhere…thus, He created us with a designated purpose to fulfill and He has provided us with His Word and His Holy Spirit to guide us in our lives.
It doesn’t mean that we won’t experience any pain or trials because it is clear, if you read the Bible, that everyone does. No one is immune. But unlike golf, where every shot counts and “do overs” are not allowed, God’s grace allows forgiveness when we mess up. Yep, we can hit a second shot and a third and a fourth. He is looking for a sincere heart and not perfection.
It is about running to Him for forgiveness and restoration…not the opinions of man. Most people, just like Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, run and hide. Don’t do what Adam and Eve did when they fell short. Run. to. God. Don’t follow man.
No one, Christians and non-Christians alike, are void of the law of “reaping and sowing!” In God’s Word it teaches that you reap what you sow. Well, on earth there are consequences to all choices we make, for the believer and unbeliever alike. The difference for a Christian is that, if we have sinned and made poor choices, we can RUN to Christ and repent. We still may reap some of the consequences but we can receive full forgiveness and we have the Power of the Holy Spirit to help us turn from poor choices.
God is a God who restores. God does not look at what man looks at. Man looks at the outer; God looks at the heart. Yes, God knows if we are sincere in our heart about remorse and a desire to do better! God is a loving God who desires a relationship first and foremost. Out of that relationship grows the desire to please God and not man or our selfish desires. God can and will restore the years the locust have eaten away. Joel 2:25, “Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”
I am glad the Christian walk brings freedom like no other freedom you can imagine. Christianity is not as penalizing as most believe, not like golf for sure. There are second chances. If you accept Christ as your personal Savior, He can and will be the best “caddy” for life you could ever have!
He knows all the “perfect yardages”.
He knows “where the trouble is”.
His desire is for all to “shoot under Par”….. It starts with inviting Him into your “game of life!”
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son so whoever believeth will have everlasting life.”