Links Daily Devotional

Sharing the Game

Set an example for the believers… (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV)

When it comes to golf, I want to be as good as I can be. But why? I use a premium golf ball, most of my clubs have been fitted, and I have read and still own a small-library-worth of books about the game. I subscribe to several golf magazines and I’ve even had a few lessons along the way from some excellent teachers. So I’m obviously willing to spend some money in this quest. But is there a good reason for it all? Yes, there is, but it is probably not what you think. I didn’t even know what it was myself for a long time.

Recently I was on a conference call with about 20 others who are involved in golf and ministry around the world. One of the participants said he had learned in a seminar that C.S. Lewis, the wise defender of Christianity and beloved author of The Chronicles of Narnia, couldn’t get over a phrase that appears in Colossians 1.27, “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (NASB). He was, as I understood it, continually amazed and overwhelmed by the idea that Christ lives in us and that his light shines out through us, just as the light of God shone out through Jesus himself. Amazing indeed.

In Mere Christianity, Lewis wrote of Jesus, “He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has—by what I call ‘good infection.’ Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”

As believers we are to spread this light, this Christ-in-us, to all those around us. The reason to become a Christian is not just for your own salvation, but because of what it does for others. The reason to grow in Christ, to become more mature, is not so you can win the blue ribbon or get another star in your crown, but for how that helps everyone you come into contact with, and especially those who are an integral part of your life.

For me this carries over into golf, and perhaps into everything I do. I want to be the best I can be not for what it does for me—although I certainly find joy in hitting a good shot or posting a good score or winning an event—but for what it does for those with whom I play the game.

One of the fastest ways to improve in golf is to play with and against people who are better than you. Even practicing with better players is good for your game. In much the same way, one of the surest ways to grow as a Christian is to spend time and thought and life with Christ followers who have grown beyond your own level of spiritual maturity.

Now that you’ve thought about who those golfers and saints might be, remember that this isn’t about you. Think in the other direction. Because for some people you are the better golfer they need to play 18 holes with, and for some people you are the mature Christian they need to learn from. Who are those people?

You owe it to those around you to play the best golf you can play, because that will help them be better. But far more importantly, you owe it to everyone you will ever meet to grow spiritually. Become a little Christ, and let the light that shines from you infect the world.

Lewis Greer

April 30, 2013

Copyright 2013 Links Players International

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