I enjoy playing golf. I suppose it is my most-enjoyable hobby at this time in my life.
I have always been competitive, playing baseball, basketball and softball in my younger days. I am far from an accomplished golfer, but I enjoy trying to improve. It is the hardest game I’ve ever tried to play.
Golf has some fascinating aspects to the game. I can hit a great shot, one that is equal to any hit by the best pro in the world. That’s not bragging. I have made a hole-in-one. Three times I have hit the ball in the hole from back in the fairway for eagles. That is as good as anyone else can do!
But then — oh, I can hit some awful shots. Two of my favorites are the shank (a word that no true golfer will actually utter on the course) and the “duck hook.” The shank goes right off the club at two o’clock, usually less than 50 yards. I’ve been told the cause, but I try not to listen to the explanation. It’s too painful to hear. For me, the “duck hook” looks like a small plane coming in for a landing at a hard left angle. Most of the time, those balls are never retrieved either from the pond or the woods.
Here’s the deal with golf and me: My greatest consistency is my lack of consistency. I will smack one ball right on target, high and majestic, and everyone in my group will say, “Good shot.” And then, I will hit one of those shots, and everyone in the group will say, “Oh.” Or they will simply look away so as not to make eye contact. Good shot, bad shot, good shot, horrible shot — it’s really not the best way to play the game.
My golf game is similar to what James describes as the way some talk. He writes, “Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing.” And then he concludes, “Brothers, it ought not to be so.” James is telling us that we should not speak out of both sides of our mouths. We need to be consistent.
I would love to be more consistent on the golf course. It would make the game more enjoyable. But even more, I want to be more consistent in my conversation. I want to be true. I want to be kind. I want to be godly.
I pray the same for you. Let us be careful to be more consistent in our walk with the Lord. Keep this in mind. People are watching.