Links Daily Devotional

The Golfer Who Knew Too Much

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, ESV)

Have you ever hit a great shot on the golf course while your mind was in hyper-drive? Me either.

Because of that I had to laugh when my playing partner stood up to his tee shot on the par-3 over water, waggled, looked, waggled, looked, and finally backed off. Standing behind the ball and facing the hole he said, quite seriously, “Would six of you please be quiet?”

We know a lot about golf, and we want to use it. Our minds on the golf course put the Google search engine to shame. I just now entered “golf swing” and only came up with “about 19,200,000” hits. Child’s play.

Being people who care about others, we don’t keep our vast knowledge of the game to ourselves. After all, why should we restrict the damage we can do with that information to our swing alone when we can share it with others?

Of course we don’t mean to harm them in any way; we mean to help them. We also mean to help ourselves, but it may be that what Festus said to Paul is true of us: “Your great learning is driving you out of your mind” (Acts 26:24).

If that is the case in golf when we are talking to other golfers, what must we look like when we do the same thing with our God knowledge to those who know virtually nothing of him?

Links Players often ask me how to share their faith on the golf course. There is perhaps no better answer than the one Paul provided for us in today’s verses, and it works off the golf course, too. Let me break it down with you.

Do not use lofty speech or wisdom. Don’t even use “Christian-ese” words. Use language they know and words they understand.

Talk about Jesus. Even talk about Jesus dying for us—it’s actually a pretty easy topic around Easter—but talk about Jesus.

No oration or sermon. Tell stories about the power of the Spirit, and demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in your golf and in your life.

Don’t try to convince someone to come to Jesus. Introduce Jesus to them and let him work on their heart.

When I come to the course with one thought for my game, golf seems fairly easy. When my one “evangelistic” thought is simply to talk about Jesus, that seems fairly easy, too. Try both of those, and you will no longer be known as the golfer who knew too much.

Lewis Greer

March 30, 2015

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