Links Daily Devotional


If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. (Psalm 130:3-4, ESV)

How often should you buy new irons? I have heard it said at least every five years because the technology in irons advances enough in that time to make it worthwhile. That may or may not be true, but it sounds plausible so I used it to help me rationalize what my heart had already decided to do.

Aren’t you glad that with God complete forgiveness is always available?After all, my friend got new irons and won the senior club championship and another friend got new irons and won the ladies club championship. Who knew what heights I could reach if I got new irons?

Knowing it was a foregone conclusion, I began trying to answer two important questions: Which irons would I get, and how would I tell my wife? (Just kidding on the wife part. She was in.) But as I was pondering “which irons,” an odd thing happened—rationalization began to give way to honest assessment, and honest assessment said to me, “You need clubs that are more forgiving.”

That would be easy enough, since my clubs were about as forgiving as a hanging judge, but how much should forgiveness matter compared to the look of the clubs, or compared to the feel? How important is forgiveness compared to what my golf buddies will think of my new clubs?

In life, a UCLA psychiatrist says, there are three levels of forgiveness between people: exoneration, forbearance, and release. What we all want for ourselves, of course, is the most forgiveness we can get, which is exoneration. But sometimes pride fights the humility needed to truly seek forgiveness, or, if it is offered without prompting, to accept it.

The truth is that just as most of us could use more forgiveness in our irons, most of us could use more forgiveness in life.

My new irons, which my wife gave me for my birthday, let me know if I don’t hit the sweet spot but also don’t punish me too severely for my misses. There is no exoneration with them—there is still a price to pay for a poor swing—but there is forbearance.

A PING rep said to me years ago, “Do you think Mark Calcavecchia comes in and says, ‘What is the hardest club you have to hit, because that is the one I want?’” He doesn’t, so why would I want those? Likewise, why would I want to worship any God other than the one with whom there is forgiveness, as the psalmist said?

You may or may not need forgiveness from your golf clubs, and you may or may not need it from your spouse or your sibling or your parent or your child, but we all need forgiveness from God. Aren’t you glad that with God complete forgiveness is always available?

You don’t even have to wait five years to get it.

Lewis Greer
December 12, 2016
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