Game, Set, Match

This past weekend was beautiful in Atlanta and I decided to take our girls to our neighborhood tennis courts.  I was suffering from a Nyquil hangover and was getting over a cold so I was even grumpier than usual.  However, I thought that I was covering it up by spending some time with Samantha and Emily.

As we started hitting the balls to one another, I began to give some instructions as to how the girls could improve.   My suggestions were just rolling off of Emily’s back but it was apparent that Samantha was growing more and more frustrated.

I thought Samantha lacked confidence and so I needed to continue to give instruction so that she could succeed and build her confidence.  I thought that I was encouraging her but she wasn’t responding well to anything I had to say.  This just caused me to grow frustrated with her but I continued to try to hide it with my calm Ward Cleaver voice (google it if you don’t know who that is).  The more frustrated I got, the more emotional she became.  It finally came to a head with me yelling and her crying.  I sat down with her and told her how iritated I was because she wouldn’t respond to what I was telling her to do.  What she said next crushed me.

She said that she knew I was irritated.  In fact, she knew that I was irritated before we even got to the courts and she knew that I didn’t really want to be out there.  She was right.

Knowing that’s the way she felt, the whole day made sense.  I Corinthians 13 says that love “is not irritable.”  Sammy wasn’t experiencing my love because I wasn’t expressing it.

So while I thought I was encouraging and instructing, she was hearing discouragement and criticism.  I thought I was building her confidence and pulling her inner tennis player out of her but she was hearing that she was not enough.

Sometimes that’s how I hear God’s voice in my life.  When I’m not resting in his complete love and acceptance of me, I hear his commands and his instructions as criticisms and reminders that I don’t have what it takes.  I’m not enough.

However, when I’m trusting that God is love and I am united with him I hear his voice completely differently.  His commands breathe life into me because they are calling me to who I truly am.  They are not reminders of what I’m not but of who I am.  Instead of defeat and discouragement, they inspire and set me free to live life the way I was designed to live.



  1. Becca Said:

    Love this story Jimmy – and I love the reminder about who we really are in Christ too!

  2. Katie Gonzales Said:

    Thank you for that blog. I needed to read that today. I have been living as though I am “not enough” forever and reading that made so much sense to me. You said that his instructions are not reminders of who I’m not, but who I am. Wow! Thank you.

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