Links Daily Devotional

Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper discusses Christian community with Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

Living an Authentic Faith, Part 6

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25, NASB)

Maybe the most critical component of golf’s handicap system is peer review, for by it the USGA attempts to maintain authenticity among the golfing community—which is a polite way of saying, “We don’t want no stinkin’ sandbaggers!”

The integrity of competing across the handicaps is entirely dependent on the honesty of those who play the game. Of course, there are many casual golfers who have no great need for such fairness. They play the game occasionally or without participating any competition other than bragging rights among friends. We’re not concerned in such cases that these golfers make up whatever rules they want.

Unfortunately, however, in the context of the faith, there are many who take up their Christian fellowship cavalierly. And here the lack of authenticity makes for the unwanted practices of hiddenness, proud individualism, and even falsehood.

Perhaps we would do well to establish this first: the people we are before God are the people we should be before one another, and vice versa.

If I am contrite before God, I should be contrite before others. This is called humility. It opens the door for increasing honesty among us.

If I extol God for his virtues, I should extol others when I see the work of God being done in and through them. This is called honor and encouragement. It opens the door for increasing ministry among us.

If I honor God by serving him, then I should honor others by serving them. This is called deference. It opens the door for increasing love among us.

Authentic community involves risk. I must be contrite and humble and honoring and encouraging and deferential—all without knowing for sure how others will respond. Will I be seen as weak? I might. Or I may be seen as the first one strong enough in my group to open those doors to characteristics of Jesus among us. Being the first is not easy. But if each of us commits to doing the right thing, all of us gain from the establishment of true, Christ-centered community.

Jeff Hopper
July 31, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at

Living an Authentic Faith, Part 5
Living an Authentic Faith, Part 4
Living an Authentic Faith, Part 3
Living an Authentic Faith, Part 2
Living an Authentic Faith, Part 1