When Honesty Costs Greatly

"The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
1 Timothy 1:5

My husband is going to be shocked! He is an avid golf watcher and player. I have no interest whatsoever in the game. In fact, I would rather read a dictionary than sit and watch men try to place a small white object in a cup with a flag in it. Rob occasionally coaxes me to walk nine holes with him. I join him for his company, not because I love golf.

But I must say that what happened yesterday made me respect a golfer who had a chance to win his first major tournament and watched it slip away because of his own 'fessing up to a misplay. Because I feel completely incompetent to record what happened, I thought I would copy the event of yesterday from a news source I found on the story:

"[Brian] Davis, a 35-year-old Englishman seeking his first victory in his sixth season on the PGA Tour, only had an opportunity to hit his third shot because he wasn't attempting it at high tide.

With his second swing on the par-4 18th Davis had pushed his ball left. It kicked left into rocks that border the shoreline of the harbor, and then bounced into the hard, wet sand and clumps of sea grass left behind by a receding water line.

So, at best it was a long shot, but, while no bargain, Davis was remarkably still alive.

At least Davis was until he blasted out of the soggy mess with an extremely fine shot to inside 30 feet of the pin -- and promptly summoned Tour tournament director and rules official Slugger White over to call a penalty on himself.

The location from where Davis hit the shot was beyond the hazard stakes. When inside a hazard, a player is prohibited by the Rules of Golf from touching a loose impediment before the shot.

Davis told White that, as he brought his club back during takeaway, he believed the backswing had caused a stalk in a clump of soggy, dead reeds to move.

"I didn't feel it. But I was pretty sure I saw -- I was actually closing my eyes coming down into the sand," Davis said. "It was one of those things I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye."

Moments later, a television replay confirmed Davis' fear and the two-stroke penalty made [Jim] Furyk's routine two-putt par and second victory of the season almost anticlimactic." [Mick Ellliot is a senior Golf Writer for Fanhouse.]

Jim Furyk was set to win. But while Furyk walked away with the coveted title and reward, Brian Davis walked away with a clear conscience. Davis called attention to his mistake without being coerced. And his honesty led to his loss. In my opinion, in his defeat, Brian Davis won.

What do you and I want to be remembered for, girlfriends? I can bet that Davis walked away heavy-hearted. What a tough way to lose. Have you and I been tempted to think that when we were honest, we walked away the loser? I thought of some examples of how this might look:

** a confrontation that had to happen with love as the motive behind it, was prayed over, and yet was badly received and the friendship is possibly no more.

** a sharing of a deeply personal matter in confidence with someone that we thought the information was safe with and having the sinking realization that it was told to the person(s) involved for the purpose of causing dissension. Now we are reeling under Satan's lie that everyone is a liar and no one can be trusted.

** having to impose tough love in a marriage where a spouse is clearly acting outside the boundaries of God's blessing or with a teenage child who refuses to obey to his or her own detriment.

** honesty in your job that costs you a promotion and gives it to someone else.

Dear sisters! Have we forgotten what our Jesus values? He is far more concerned with the shaping of our character than the injustice of our circumstances. He is the Lord of heaven and earth and has the power to change those circumstances in a blink of an eye. But we are the ones who have free will. He cannot make us be obedient. When we are, especially when our honesty costs us dearly, do we realize how much we delight His heart? I have three children. When they obey without being coaxed, my mother heart soars! So does our God's!!!

Do not believe the lie that no one saw you do the hard thing. The most important Being in all of the universe not only saw, but has your reward in His hand. I do not know when that reward will come, but it will come. Be sure of it. The One who bottles every tear and records it in His book is the One who saw what we did that cost us so much in this short life of ours that will last for 70, maybe 80, years. In view of eternity, that is NOTHING!! And Scripture promises us in 2 Corinthians 4:17:

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

Jesus knows! Jesus cares! Jesus rewards!

What is better than walking away from a huge amount of money given on this earth that will pass away? A clear conscience before our God. Sweet peace as we lay our head on the pillow knowing we have obeyed, not out of duty, but out of the grateful realization that we get to delight our Abba with our obedience. We will trust Him to make all things right, to make just what was not. To make up what we "lost" because we acted in obedience even though it cost us greatly. Let's remember Who is keeping score!

Jesus, it is so difficult to wait to be rewarded when we, humanly, have every right to expect it and don't receive what we want. Give us Your vision. May we live more and more with an eternal perspective, rather than with our blind, earthly eyes. And, Jesus, come close to our hearts that are broken even though we have done what You wanted us to. Whisper Your love to us in the dark:

"Well done, my beloved child, well done!"