Bent out of shape

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What breaks my heart?

by Don Morris, Mission USA director

I recently attended the United States Golf Association (USGA) U.S. Senior Open golf tournament as this event was held just a few miles north of my home in Edmond, Okla. I saw many professional golfers over the age of 50 who I have watched over the years. It was a lot of fun to watch them hit that tiny white ball. And most of them can still hit it a long way and, for the most part, hit it accurately.

 But as the hot day wore on, some of these professionals began making major mistakes, and as they made mistakes their demeanors declined with them. I would love to be able to hit a golf ball like these guys, making tons of money while doing so. Yet here they were, getting all out of sorts when they hit a shot badly. It seemed that some of them had lost their enjoyment of the game. But when the top prize is over $700,000, no wonder they were so intense, even brokenhearted, about their golf game when playing poorly.

 A golfer tries to score as low as possible in order to win. And when they score too high, no matter what level of player they are, they can be discouraged. A double bogey (two shots over par on a hole) can be heartbreaking for the dedicated golfer.

Golf is just a game. It pales in comparison to what is truly important in life, for what is truly important are those things that have eternal outcomes.

What is it in this life that breaks my heart? Is it a double bogey? Is it an electric bill that’s too high? Is it missing out on a pay raise? Is it an argument with my spouse?

Perhaps a better question might be, “Does God ever experience a broken heart? If so, what is it that breaks God’s heart?” I believe that God does get brokenhearted, and it isn’t over a golf score. It is about what truly matters. It is about broken people. I believe his love is so immense that God’s heart breaks when he sees people choose the things of this world over a relationship with him and end up broken and in pain. John 3:16 comes to mind: “God so loved…that he gave….”

But I wonder sometimes if we who love God are broken enough over the things that break God’s heart. Do we care enough to do whatever it takes to see more people come to know him? Do we rise up to help those who are experiencing brokenness? Are we more upset by the mundane happenings of life than we are that people, including our friends and relatives, are headed for eternal destruction? Are we storing up treasure on earth rather than helping to fund current kingdom-building work that has eternal consequences? Are we downright angry about the new scratch on our car? Or, are we downright angry that Satan is winning in so many people’s lives? Does a double bogey really matter?

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