Character Counts

Bobby Jones was one of the greatest golfers to ever compete, uniquely known for winning the “Grand Slam” of golf winning all four major tournaments in the U.S. and Britain in a single year. In 1925, early in his career, having reached the final playoff in the U.S. Open, at a certain point in the match, Jones was setting up to strike his ball which was in the rough just off the fairway. His iron accidentally touched the ball. He immediately became angry with himself, turned to the marshals, and called a penalty on himself.

But the marshals had not seen the ball move, so they left the decision to Jones, whether to invoke the penalty — a two-stroke penalty. Bobby called the penalty on himself, not knowing that he would lose the tournament by a single stroke.

When praised for his honesty, he replied, “You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank!” Jones may have lost the tournament, but his character was legendary and today the United States Golf Association’s award for sportsmanship is known as the “Bobby Jones Award.”

It’s been said, “Character is what you do when nobody is watching. Character is how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you. Character is how you react when the pressure is on. Character is deciding beforehand that you are going to do the right thing.”

Every day we’re faced with decisions — many of which are made when no one is watching, at least no one we can see. But let’s purpose in our hearts to do the right thing — because character truly counts. We may not see the dividends immediately — but be assured that God is keeping track of our decisions, and He will make good on every one!
(DJS)

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