Tiger Woods needs no introduction. Even people who don’t really like golf know who Tiger Woods is. At age 20 he joined the PGA tour and 42 weeks later, he obtained the #1 ranking in the world. In 1997, after winning his first Master’s tournament, winning over $2.06 million from golf events (not counting endorsements), being the “PGA Player of the Year,” “Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year,” and “The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year,” you would think he would be satisfied. But what did he do in-between the 1997 and 1998 golf seasons? He changed his swing! Now undoubtedly Tiger Woods decided to ignore the popular phrase: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
In 2003, after a record 264 weeks as the #1 ranked player in golf, $40 million in earnings from tournaments (not counting endorsements), and winning 10 Major Championships, everyone looked back on Tiger’s swing change in 1997 and had to admit that he did something right. Strangely enough, Tiger Woods made another swing change between the 2003 and 2004 seasons. When asked why he changed his swing again despite being on the top of the golf world, Tiger responded, “Well, I thought I could become better.”
Being a follower of Christ is a lot like Tiger’s golf game; it is a never-ending process of striving to be the best that you can be. The Bible says that we are to die to ourselves daily, putting on the image of Christ and living our lives with purpose. No matter how long you and I may have been a Christian, there are always parts of our “game” that need to get better – things like spending time in the Word daily, praying and talking with God, sharing our faith with others, and living our lives in a Christ-like way so that others may see the love and grace of Christ in us.
Nike Shoe Company just came out with a new commercial on television. It is raining, and the TV is on in Tiger Wood’s house. His voice says “Rainy days are a good time to watch TV, lounge around, to just take a break and do nothing.” The camera then pans over to the window overlooking Tiger’s backyard. You see Tiger, standing in the pouring rain, hitting golf balls and working on his swing. He says, “The problem is, I don’t have any rainy days.”
There isn’t a day when Christians can stop and not be Christians. Everything that we do and say is scrutinized by the world around us. True Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a lifestyle. Pursue your relationship with Christ daily, making it stronger and more capable of beating the competition with sin around you. Pray, stay in the Word, die to self daily, and spend time with God to keep your sword sharpened and your spirit ready for the daily grind of life.
-Spending time in the Word-
“When you first read the Bible, it is like a window to a world of the past. However, the more you read, it becomes like a mirror for your own life.” -Dr. Joe McKeever
1. In Philippians 1:20-30, Paul’s purpose for living and suffering was to spread the Word of Christ. What is your real purpose for living?
2. Romans 6:1-23 shows us the advantages of dying to sin and living in Christ. Christians should no longer be a slave to sin, but a slave to righteousness.
-Hiding the Word in your heart-
“When you can be better than good, then good just isn’t good enough.” -Cederick Wilson
Memorize these verses as you continue to learn and study the Word of God daily.
1. I Corinthians 15:58- “Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
2. Romans 5:20b-21- “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”