Links Daily Devotional

Careful Words

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1, NIV)

You might remember an incident in 2005. Ben Crane was playing with Rory Sabbatini at the Booz Allen Classic. The group had been put on the clock for slow play, and Sabbatini, being a fast player, took matters into his own hands.

On seventeen and eighteen, Sabbatini played ahead of Crane, leaving him behind to finish by himself. This made headlines in the golfing world, as such behavior had rarely been seen before. In the post-round interview, Crane gave an extremely gracious interview, taking some of the blame on himself.

The Sunday before the Masters in 2007, Ben Crane and Aaron Baddeley spoke at an outreach banquet for the college teams playing in Augusta State’s tournament. Crane told the story of the Sabbatini incident and mentioned the interview afterwards. When the microphone was headed his way after the round, Crane recalled, a verse came to mind that addressed the situation. Ben remembered Proverbs 15:1. Applying the verse in the moment, Crane was able to give that deferential interview.

But the media never reported the rest of the story. An hour after the interview, Rory Sabbatini called Ben Crane and apologized for his behavior on the golf course.

If Crane had given a harsh interview, the media blitz would have played the situation up and who knows what would have happened between the two players. Crane obviously had hidden God’s word in his heart and was able to apply it in the interview, though he may otherwise have been tempted to lash out at Rory.

In the gospels, we see Jesus tempted with three distinct temptations in the desert. Each time, he quoted scripture. Psalm 116:11 states, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” The power of temptation is vanquished with the proper quoting of God’s word.

Scripture memory is not a hot topic in most Christian circles. Memorizing God’s word takes time and discipline. Today’s technology doesn’t help: “Why memorize scripture when there is an app for that!” Howard Hendricks, a renowned Bible teacher, former chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys and a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, has stated that if he had his life over again, he would spend much more time memorizing scripture. Recently David Platt, the popular Pastor of Brook Hills Church in Birmingham, recited Romans 1-8 from memory during a service. Scripture memory is intimidating, but the fruit it can bear in our lives as we apply God’s word to our temptations is irrefutable.

If it worked for Ben Crane, how might it work with us? Let’s start with Proverbs 15:1, because there’s a good chance we’ll need it soon!

Korky Kemp

March 22, 2012

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday through Friday at www.linksplayers.com.