Korky Kemp serves as the Eastern Director for College Golf Fellowship, a national ministry with nine full time staff based around the country. Having played golf at NC State, then professionally for seven years on various tours, he started working with CGF in 2005. Through outreach banquets, team and tournament visits, weekly Bible studies, individual discipleship and retreats with PGA Tour players, the staff of CGF strive to impact the world of college golf and beyond with the life changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This blog post was adapted from Korky’s Links Player devotional on memorizing Scripture and applying it to your life.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
Ben Crane and the Difference Scripture Makes
I remember when Ben Crane was playing with Rory Sabbatini in the Booz Allen Classic. It was back in 2005, and the group had been put on the clock for slow play. Rory, being a fast player, took matters into his own hands.
On 17 and 18, Rory played ahead of Crane, leaving him behind to finish by himself. This made headlines in the golfing world as this behavior has never been seen before. In the post round interview, Ben Crane gave an extremely gracious interview, not bashing Rory at all and even taking some of the blame for himself.
A couple of years later, the Sunday before the Masters in 2007, Ben Crane and Aaron Baddeley were speaking at an outreach banquet for the college teams playing in Augusta State’s collegiate tournament. Crane told the story of the incident with Rory Sabbatini and mentioned the interview afterwards. When the microphone was headed his way after the round, Crane recalled, a verse came to mind that addressed the situation.
Ben remembered Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Ben applied this verse to the situation and gave an extremely gracious interview. The media did not report THE REST OF THE STORY. An hour after the interview, Rory Sabbatini called Ben Crane and apologized for his behavior on the golf course.
If Ben had given a harsh interview, the media blitz would have played the situation up and who knows what would have happened between Rory and Ben. Ben obviously had hidden God’s word in his heart and was able to apply it to the temptation to lash out at Rory.
We see Jesus tempted three times in the desert and three times Jesus quotes scripture. Psalm 116:11 states, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” The power of temptation is vanquished with the proper quoting of God’s word.
Why Memorize Scripture?
Scripture memory is not a hot topic in most Christian circles. Memorizing God’s word takes time and discipline. The instant gratification generation of these days would commonly think, “Why memorize scripture when there is an app for that!” Howard Hendricks, a renowned Bible teacher, former Chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, mentor to Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans and David Jeremiah, has stated that if he had his life over again, he would spend much more time memorizing scripture. Recently David Platt, the popular Pastor of Brook Hills Church in Birmingham, recited ROMANS 1-8 from memory during a service. Scripture memory is intimidating, but the fruit it can bear in our life as we apply God’s word to our temptations is irrefutable.
So this is where the rubber hits the road. What would happen if we took Ben Crane’s example and memorized Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” and applied it to our life? Lord only knows.
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