Links Daily Devotional

Pre-love

We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, NASB)

It was when I was playing golf with Dee and Candy and John, Links Players from Robson Ranch in Arizona, at their home course, that I learned a new phrase: “pre-whining.” I had done it, but I didn’t know it had a name until they educated me.

John was playing well, as he does, and when we got somewhere around the fifth hole, he had a birdie putt of about 20 feet. As soon as he hit it he said something like, “Oh, no! I pulled that. Not a good putt.” And the ball went in.

Candy, his wife, immediately called him on it. “Started talking a little early on that one.” And the rest of us joined her, almost completely ignoring the fact that he had made his second birdie of the round. As he pulled the ball out of the hole he said, “That’s what we call pre-whining—when you start complaining before you know where the ball is going to end up.” Yep, I’ve done that.

In the fellowship time that followed our round, we were discussing a recent Links devotion about learning to love. The conversation was lively, interesting, and “edifying,” to use a Bible word. Then one of the ladies in the group shared honestly, “When I go into Walmart, I think, God loves all of these people. I’m not sure I always do.”

So I shared a strategy I’ve used for several years that I didn’t have a name for until that moment: “pre-love.” It is simple, and you can apply it to shoppers in a store and people you will meet on the golf course. You just make a decision ahead of time, especially in situations where you are likely to encounter people you have never met before, to love those people.

Try it, and you will find their response to your pre-love is amazing. They can feel it somehow. Defensiveness fades away, because they know they are not being judged by their clothes or their looks or their behavior; they are being loved. Their smiles will show you they know it.

Of course God invented this, loving us first. When we pre-love, we are simply following our Father’s example.

My goal on the golf course is to never pre-whine, because that apparently poor putt might just go in, and that apparently bad drive might just end up in the fairway. Less complaining makes the round more fun anyway. And wherever I go, my goal with people is to always pre-love. That makes the day more fun every time.

Lewis Greer
June 15, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.