I enjoy golf but must confess that I hit more bad shots than good ones. Recently I was enjoying a day on the course with two neighbors. This proved to be a great way to strengthen relationships and earn trust for Gospel conversations, and it was also a risk that I held my composure on the frequent bad shots. Thankfully I’m not very competitive and don’t take myself too seriously, so throwing a club in anger was not something I was too concerned about. Since we each were there to have fun and the course was not crowded, we enjoyed a day of grace and filled with unlimited mulligans.
Now, if you have never played golf, you may be unfamiliar with the term mulligan. Simply stated, it is a second shot or an opportunity to hit a different ball in the hopes that a redemptive swing can get the ball closer to your intended shot placement. Common in tournaments, there is usually a limit to the number of mulligans in a round, and you even have to purchase those mulligans to use them.
The imagery of this redemptive second shot has parallels to our faith and life journey. We all make mistakes, experience failure, and simply don’t end up where we intended. While guilt and shame are common, we recognize the loyal love of God described in Exodus 34:6-8 results in an unlimited number of second chances. God is full of forgiveness and grace.
This does not mean we are exempt from consequences and punishment. Certainly, we each carry scars from our mistakes. Yet those scars can be stories of redemption and grace rather than failure. We pursue a God of loyal love and second chances.
Whether you need a second or fifty-second chance, God’s mulligans are not bought by any act or duty on our part. In fact, Jesus has already paid the price for our forgiveness. I pray that today you can walk in grace by faith and see the loyal love of God. No matter what you have done, He loves and forgives you. There is mercy and grace waiting for you today! That pressure release should lead to joy and peace each day.