“One day a while back,” Stan began, “I was getting ready to play a round of golf with an acquaintance. I knew him a little, but could not describe him as a friend.”
“He was one of those guys who loved to buy all of the newest and most expensive golf equipment.”
“When he stepped up to the first tee, he looked like he just stepped out of the latest golf fashion magazine.”
“He always looked great, but that is where the greatness of his game ended.”
“He isn’t a good golfer?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan said, “let me describe it this way. He teed up his top-of-the-line golf ball, swung his very expensive new driver, and missed the ball.”
“He turned and said something about taking a practice swing.”
“He then tried again and hit the ball a long ways, but it went so far out of bounds that he didn’t even bother looking for the ball.”
Continuing, Stan said, “His whole round of golf was like that. His personal appearance and equipment were impressive, but his actions were not.”
Stan then changed focus and said, “That fellow’s golf game was a lot like my Christian walk for way too long in my life.”
“Please explain,” I said.
“I looked good on the outside, but I was swinging and missing with a lot of things in my life.”
“And I was hitting a lot of things in my life way out of bounds.”
“How did you take care of that?” I asked.
“Through the realization of the fact it was my self-focus that was leading me to look good in a lot of ways that didn’t matter for a lot of people who were really inconsequential in the big picture.”
Continuing, Stan said, “God, through His Holy Spirit, brought me to know Who I was to please and why.”
“And, slow and forgetful learner that I am, He has to constantly remind me every day who I am to be and what I am to do to look good in His eyes. I am to focus on Who and what matters.”
If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive all of the times I seek to look good for others without considering what it means to look good in your eyes. You know all about my self-focus and my seemingly endless desires to look good in ways that do not matter from your eternal perspective. Please help me to truly deny self every moment I have remaining on this side of eternity. I need and I ask for all of the help you can and will provide in being only who and what you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.