Links Daily Devotional

Changing the Conversation

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:5-6, NASB)

A few weeks ago one of the Links leaders at my club and I talked for several minutes—at least two holes’ worth—about the idea of “changing the conversation.” Our refreshed mission at Links Players says, “As followers of Jesus, we change the conversation at our clubs.” He really liked the statement, he liked the idea, and he understood immediately what it meant. What he didn’t know was how he could contribute to that goal.

I should have quoted the scripture above, but I only remembered the “Let your speech always be with grace” part, and I shared a story or two. I also said that the conversation at our club would change through not just our speech, but through our conduct, events we have, and even through having a Links Fellowship there. As we pondered all of this together, he asked me if I could join him for golf three days later because he was bringing a guest, a neighbor who was a good player. How could I say no to that?

And he was a good player—one of those fellows who had played competitively in college 30 or 40 years ago and still knew how to get the ball in the hole. Not only could he repeat his swing, he could also repeat several golf stories. The kind he favored were the kind you might hear in the men’s grill after a drink or two had been served. He waited until about the eighth hole to tell the first one, and I wondered then if he was surprised that he didn’t get a better response. The same thing happened on the twelfth tee, when the other three of us simply smiled and walked on after this second story.

On the thirteenth, a par-5, I pretty much butchered the hole from tee to green, but I made a curling 30-foot putt to save par. No one was surprised, because I’d already made at least three putts that were 20 feet or longer. “Does he always putt like that?” the guest wanted to know.

Before my friends could answer I asked him, “Do you know how putting is like love?” He thought for a moment, perhaps in the same vein as the stories he had told, and couldn’t come up with anything.

I said, “The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins, and so does a great putt.” And for the rest of the round, and even after the round, our conversation changed. We didn’t talk more about the Bible or about love or even about putting, but we talked of more substantive matters.

Will that change the conversation at our club? If it happens enough times with enough people, I believe it will. And if God has to help me make a lot of long putts so I can use that line again, that’s just the price I’ll have to pay.

In the meantime, whether I play well or play poorly, I will let my speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, and I will let my conduct be the same so that I can be part of changing the conversation at my club.

Lewis Greer
January 11, 2016
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