mulligan, please

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat of its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

I don’t know a lot about golf, but the men and my family do. Overhearing their many conversations, I picked up on a very important concept. Apparently, if you make a mistake like miss on a drive or in the sand; you hit a tree, or bump your ball on a putt, then you can take a “mulligan.” Basically, without penalty, you can put everything back as it was, then try again.

I think this would be most beneficial in conversation.

“Have we met before?” (Inevitably, yes. Several times.)

“Your name was _________, right?” (Never right)

“Are you and ______________ still together?” (they broke up 6 months ago)

Or the classic, “Remember that time when…” and who you’re talking to was not there in spite of the many attempts to remind them with every detail only to conclude, “Gosh, I thought that was you.”

I bet you have about thirty examples of your own because we all say things we’d like to take back — these mulligan moments we wish we could rewind and try again. Only, it’s over much more than saying the wrong name.

Words have power.

It matters what you say and how you say it.

I would like my words to breath life into the people around me, into anyone I meet, but I’m realizing this doesn’t happen simply because I try harder or say less. I’ve tried that and the fruit it bears isn’t freedom.

I have to change.

The battle isn’t the words I use, or don’t use– as important as they are– but the thoughts I think. If/When I am unkind, or (too) sarcastic, judgmental, and snippy its always connected to what I really think or how I really feel.

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

You can’t make yourself overflow. It happens when something, or someone, is being filled. The question is not will you overflow, but what is filling you?

That answer will be revealed in our words.

So what do you do when the overflow isn’t what you want?

I’ve been wrestling with this a ton and here’s where I am today. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” ps.51:9-10

Now, here’s what I think God wants to do. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ez. 36:26

I don’t know where you are with God, but I know He wants us to want Him. If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us and… “fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom. 15:13

I don’t begin to understand all of this, but my simple conclusion is that trusting in God, opening ourselves up to even the possibility of Him, and inviting Him “in” releases Him to fill even the deepest parts of us with His life-giving Spirit and overflow with hope on the people and situations around us.

All I have to do is ask. He’s already promised to give it.

Wow.

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