Focus on the Target, Not the Hazards

I had this all queued up to post today and then Ken said virtually the same thing in his sermon yesterday. Great minds think alike, or more likely, this is something I stole from him in the first place.

One of the reasons golf is the most difficult sport known to man is that the game is almost 100 percent mental. Once you learn the basic fundamentals of a swing the difference between a great golfer and a below-average golfer is between the ears.

When great golfers step up to a ball, they know they are going to make a good shot and hope they can make a great shot. When I step up to the ball, I hope I'll see the ball again.

One of the best lessons I ever learned in golf was to focus on your target, never the things that lie between you and your target. If you stand over the ball and tell yourself, "Don't hit it in the water. Don't hit it in the water. Don't hit it in the water," guess where your ball is going to go? Even if the water is behind you the ball will find its way there.

Sanctification (becoming more like Christ) is the same way. A lot of us try to move through the game of life focused solely on avoiding the hazards. Then we wonder why we end up there so frequently.

Because of the Gospel, we have a new identity in Christ (Ephesians 1-3; Romans 6-7) and the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4; Romans 8) which allows us the ability to focus on the target - Christlikeness - with confidence that God has already given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The hazard shapes the shot, but Christlikeness is the focus.