With all loneliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
The WGC Matchplay Championship started yesterday in Austin, Texas. This week is unique because of the matchplay format and the field consists of only 64 of the best. There is no cumulative scoring in matchplay. You are only playing against the one opponent you are matched against. The lowest score on the hole wins the hole and whoever wins the most holes, wins the match. We will hear the adage “always expect your opponent to hole his shot” many times from talking heads during the television coverage. In this format, it is easy to think you have a hole won when you find yourself in a good position while your opponent is seemingly in trouble. We then become casual with our approach because of this momentary advantage. It was proved to be true yesterday. On the par 3 fourth hole, Bryson DeChambeau’s tee shot hit a cart path and bounced over a steep embankment into an area suitable to successfully hide Easter eggs. His opponent Russell Knox found the green with his tee shot and looked to win the hole with an easy two putt par. After nearly exhausting the three minute limit for Bryson’s ball search, it was found in a clump of grass. He then somehow proceeded to hit it out of the thick grass over the embankment, onto the sloping green. The ball barely rolled off of the putting surface and rested 15 feet from the hole. He then made the putt and tied the hole. The mode of “always expecting someone to succeed” is a helpful lesson in our Christian lives. We get into the habit of always expecting the worst from people. This mentality comes from past dealings with the individual or just our general way of thinking. The Bible teaches us to be patient and forgiving like our Christ has been with us. It oftentimes difficult because the person has “done us so wrong” in the past. Our dealings and our mentality is always to be rooted in the spirit of love. When we have love for the person, we will expect the best from our neighbor and give him/her the ability to succeed. My prayer is to have an increased love for the people around me. When we share the gospel, it is done in a spirit of love. We do not do it to uplift ourselves because of our saved position reflecting a “holier than thou” attitude. We should have a testimony how God saved us when we were at our worst. He now expects the best from us!