A few years ago, I read a story about a young man who feared crowds. Every now and then, when encircled by large groups, he would panic. One night he and a golfing buddy of his were at the movies waiting in line to enter when his fear and panic struck again. His friend then stepped in to try to help.

“When you are hitting your ball out of the rough, and you’re surrounded by trees, what do you do?”

“I look for an opening, a space between the trees.”

“You don’t look at the trees?” his friend asked.

“No, of course not. I look for the best way out of the woods so I can get back onto the fairway.”

His friend then suggested that he do the same with the crowd: look for the opening.

Good idea for golfers. Good idea for you and me.

As we heard Sunday, temptation and sin are problems that have been around a long time. They affect everyone. But the good news is we have a Savior who paid for our sins on the cross. We can live as forgiven children of God. Now even after we are saved, we will sin again. So, what then? How should we respond? Some live with the burden of guilt strapped to their backs as they battle through the rest of their lives. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior and are guilty of this, that is an example of focusing on the wrong thing. Jesus died on the cross for the sin you are carrying around with you.

Quit looking at the trees. Stop focusing on the sin, and look at the Savior.

Let’s not let temptation and sin hold us hostage. Let us all remember to return to the source of our victory, our salvation and our forgiveness: Jesus, our Savior. Get back on “the fairway.” God wants to use you today to bear good fruit for the kingdom.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
— Romans 5:1

If you have never asked for and received the grace and forgiveness offered through Jesus, it is available today.