Tennis is one of the few sports that does not have an umpire or referee, except at the pro level. Each player is responsible to call his/her own lines. Tennis is a “gentlemen’s” sport based on honesty, respect and good sportmanship. But there is a joke in the tennis world. If someone hits a ball close to the line and you are not sure if it is IN or OUT, you call it OUT. “When in doubt, call it OUT!”
Now, through my years of juniors, college, and now ALTA (I am a weekend warrior when the kids do not have a game.), I have played against a few folks who live by this motto. And quite frankly, I’m not sure how they can sleep at night or take any joy in winning if they have to cheat to do it. For me personally and what I coach my kids, if it is too close to call or you are not sure, then give your opponent the benefit of the doubt. I would rather lose with honor than feel like I cheated someone.
Life is a lot like tennis. And I think we, especially followers of Jesus Christ, should always give others the benefit of the doubt. If we are unsure about something or someone, then we need to err on the side of grace. God’s grace is sufficient for me. It is sufficient for me to receive, and it is sufficient for me to GIVE. Listen, God has forgiven me of a WHOLE LOT, so I should be able to forgive others of a little. If we are a blessing to others, then God promises that He will bless us.
I’ve been thinking/meditating lately on things like “the power of the both and”, fostering “win win” situations for everyone, keeping my life focused on the BIG PICTURE (eternal perspective), truly being “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry”, etc.
I’m not sure if this post is making a lot of sense? I work really hard to be simple and clear, especially on Sunday mornings. But “someone” recently commented on my blog that I am deep and complex. Well, this one might be “deep”. Or maybe not. Some of you might find it elementary. Whatever. Anyway, I am rambling now.
Here is my encouragement:
When in doubt…love, forgive, extend grace, be generous, listen, be a blessing, pray.
You might not win every match or battle, but you will keep your integrity and character. And you will certainly win the war! The problem with most of us is that we don’t even realize what the “real” war is. But that is another post for another day.
Is anyone out there picking up what I am putting down?