Last week I took advantage of my day off to do something I had not done in over two years...I played golf. Linn Rice and I ventured out to the booming metropolis of Kansas, OK to the Flint Ridge Golf Course and chased a little white ball around for about three hours.
I started off like I had not played golf in two years: I took a 7 (that’s a triple bogey or three over par) on the first hole. The second hole is a par 3. I don’t know what I was thinking when I stood on the tee box, but I hit a lovely 7-iron that sounded good and looked good to within three feet of the hole: that is the closest I have ever been to a hole in one in all my years of golfing.
I promptly lipped out my birdie putt and made a three. On the third hole, a par 4, I played two nice shots to the green and two putted for another par.
So after two pars in a row, I began to think, “Hey, I pretty well got this whole golf thing down. Maybe I should try to hit the ball harder off the tee to shorten my second shot and I can start making birdies instead of pars.”
If you have ever played golf, you know that thinking like that is what gets you into trouble. Instead of focusing on the shot at hand, I was thinking back to holes 2 and 3...and I reverted to playing golf like I had not played golf in two years.
I thought I had figured the game out...I actually started to think I was a reasonably fair golfer: but that overconfidence was all it took to drag me back to earth.
In 1 Corinthians 10:12, Paul warns us: “So if you think you are standing firm, WATCH OUT that you don’t fall.” In our Christian life, so often we make the same mistake I did while golfing: we become overconfident.
And sometimes that overconfidence is all the opening that Satan needs to trip us up and cause us to fall. When we think we’ve got the whole Christian life thing figured out, that’s really when we need to watch out!