Another Mulligan, Please
"The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer." Luke 13:8
If you've ever been a weekend golfer, then you've probably heard the term, mulligan shot or mulligan. The term, penned for Canadian golfer, David Bernard Mulligan, simply means getting another shot, a do-over or re-do. As an amateur, mulligans can come in quite handy as you can sometimes quickly and easily see what you did wrong and what you should have done instead.
But once you get to the pros, there are no mulligans anymore. The term isn't in the rules of golf anywhere. A professional golfer is expected to have the maturity and experience to know how to engage in the sport without the allowances afforded the amateurs.
I find this even more true and necessary in the Christian life.
At some point we must get past making the same mistakes over and over again, the same old defeated mentality, and the same old defeating behaviors of the world. And, we must stop making excuses for ourselves, claiming our mulligans.
In the passage of Scripture referenced above, the barren fig tree was about to be chopped down. It was worthless to the owner because it never matured to the level of bearing any fruit. Many who claim the name of Jesus today are equally worthless.
Hebrews 5:12-14 says this, "You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong."
As someone who has followed Jesus for any length of time, it should be embarrassing for us to blend so easily into the culture of today and claim so many mulligans in our daily life. Let us seek His face constantly, repenting of sin, living in the joy of His presence, and may others see Jesus in your life and in mine. No more mulligans.