I once made four birdies in the first six holes I played. Then I made a ten on the tenth hole and ended up shooting 77, a pretty bad result considering I was four under after six holes.
The problem was I knew I was capable of playing six holes four under par and thought that’s who I was, rather than the golfer who was capable of making a ten on a hole.
The difference between me, or any decent amateur golfer, and Tiger Woods is not the quality of our best shots but our worst ones. My best shot is as straight as Tiger’s best shot. The difference is my bad drive goes out of bounds while Tiger’s trickles into the rough. My bad bunker shot doesn’t get out of the bunker; Tiger’s ends up ten feet from the hole.
Who I am as a golfer is not determined by the quality of my good shots but the quality of my worst ones. The same is true of who we are as people.
Anyone can put on a smile and treat their spouse well in front of others for ninety minutes on Sunday morning, but that is not who they really are. Who they are is who they are at their worst when no one is watching; who they really are is how they treat their spouse when they lose their temper and no one else is watching.
When you think of Tiger Woods now, do you think of the clean-living family man or the pancake-waitress-chasing, graphic-texting, unfaithful husband? If you had to bet money on who he really is which would you choose? You see my point.
My point is not to convince you that you and I are wretches or make you a Calvinist; my point is more practical.
If I’m going to become a better golfer I must improve my worst shots, not my best ones, and if I’m going to become more like Jesus I need to be better when I’m at my worst, not when I’m at my best. GS