Life Lessons from Golf

Screenshot 2018-09-16 at 3.54.16 PM

The key to a good golf shot is to stay nice and relaxed and calm throughout the swing. From set up, to aiming, to the grip, to the swing, and through the follow through. Everything should be nice and easy, loosie-goosie grip, trusting in the swing and the club to do what it’s designed to do.

Once in a while, I have days when I literally can’t hit the ball. It’s almost as if I’ve forgotten how to play golf. It feels like I’ve never even held a golf club before.

I will have weeks and months of decent golf…and then, BAM!!!…out of nowhere comes a day when nothing goes right. The aiming is off. The grip and stance feel awkward. And the ball…oh my goodness…the ball!!! It goes wherever it wants…except for where I want!

I had one of those days this past week. But it’s ok. I learned a huge lesson.

I played well for the first four holes.

And then it happened. One errant shot.

Then the over-thinking, the over-correcting. Then even more “corrections” and “adjustments.” It got so bad, my 13 year-old son tells me swing advice.

When I start to play poorly, I try harder. And when I try harder, I end up tensing up. I end up gripping tighter. Swinging harder. Swinging faster. And each of these things only make things worse, not better. But the thing that is tricky is that during the unravelling I actually think these things are helping.

Things got so bad that I stopped playing after 9 holes and went straight to the driving range. Once I got there, I relaxed, loosened my grip, and took a nice relaxed swing.

Guess what happened?

The ball flew a beautiful trajectory right toward the target.

The key to a good golf swing is to relax, stay loose, and trust the swing and the club to do what it was designed to do. The harder and faster I swing, and the harder I grip the club, the worse the outcome is.

Here’s why I tell you all this. Because that’s exactly what I do when it comes to life. When things are not going right, I try harder, I work harder, I hold on tighter. I really believe that each of these things are making things better. But in actuality, each of these are making things worse.

To make life work, I need to let go, relax, and trust that what God promised works. I need to let go and trust God and let God do God only what God can.

To do that, I need to chill out. Relax. Loosen my grip on things and trust God. Trust in God’s methods.

And once I do that? You should see the beautiful trajectory of a life that trusts God!

Christianity is a Lot Like Golf

Screenshot 2018-08-25 at 7.12.09 PMGolf is an interesting game. No matter how good a golfer you are, there is always room for improvement.

Golf has very little to do with how much a person wants to play better.

  • Everyone wants to play better.
  • Everyone wants to lower their score.
  • Everyone want to hit the ball straighter, farther.
  • Everyone wants to sink the putts.

But there is only one proven way to get better at the game of golf.


You have to get out on the range and repeat the same swing over and over until it becomes a part of you. And then you have to keep going to the range so that you can keep swinging the same way over and over.

Same thing with the putting. The only way to get better at putting is by going out and practicing.

Here’s why I tell you all this and it has nothing to do with golf.

Being a Christian has very little to do with how much a person wants to be a better Christian.

  • Every Christian wants to be more loving
  • Every Christian wants to be a better servant leader
  • Every Christian wants to be more kind
  • Every Christian wants to be more like Jesus in our thoughts and deeds

But there’s only one proven way to get better at becoming more like Jesus.


The only way Christians get better at being more like Jesus is by practice. We have to practice loving people when they are unlovable, serving people who are undeserving, and being kind to people when we don’t feel like it.

When someone is rude to us, when someone has wronged us, our natural reaction is to respond in anger. We revolt against the call to treat those who hurt us with kindness.

And the reason why we, and the rest of the world who doesn’t know Jesus, respond this way?

It’s not because we’re human. It’s because we’re all sinners. And we have been practicing sin for all our lives.

And the great travesty with modern day Christianity is that we continue to practice sin even after we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior!!!

But now that we know Jesus, we need to break out of our old habits and start training and practicing new habits. That’s what it means to be Christian.

So what are those habits? Where is the “driving range” for Christians? The church.

I promise. You will get to practice being loving toward unlovable people, practice being a servant leader, and practice kindness to rude people in church. Guaranteed!

And it won’t come easy. As soon as we think we’ve got it, we got to keep on practicing because there will always be room to get better at being like our Savior. We will never be perfect at it. But we will get better over time as we continue practicing the habits of Christ-likeness.

If Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we have no other choice.

This is who we are.

Now it’s time that we start living out our faith.