On Sunday, Dustin Johnson won the U.S. Open in controversial fashion. As he was trying to secure the win, a potential penalty stroke was hanging over his head. After being assessed, however, he still secured his first major championship by 3 strokes – a great accomplishment when you consider his history and circumstances.

During last year’s U.S. Open, Johnson 3-putted on the 18th hole and ended up losing to Jordan Spieth. He led the 2010 U.S. Open by three strokes through three rounds, but finished with a score of 82 in the final round and lost.

He also dealt with a penalty controversy when he grounded his club during the 2010 PGA Championship, while leading by one on the final hole, which ended up costing him. Johnson’s been in other great positions to win majors, but hasn’t been able to pull it out, so Sunday’s win was especially rewarding for him.
What stands out to me about this story is the fact that Dustin found himself in a similar situation on Sunday, but reacted differently than he did in the past. This time he didn’t crumble, fade, or allow his past mistakes to be repeated. By responding well to the circumstances, the results did not turn out the same.

In our own journeys, we’ve made poor choices and have handled certain circumstances badly. We can look back and see that our negative attitudes or questionable decision-making led to unfortunate results. However, if we learn from those situations, then the next time we face something similar, we can react differently.

As followers of Jesus, we don’t have to repeat history by giving into the same temptations. Instead, we can rely on His strength and the work He has done in us, to approach those scenarios with a new outlook.
The Bible encourages us in Ephesians 4:22-24, “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Today, let’s remember that through Jesus we are being transformed and are not who we used to be. Just like Dustin Johnson is no longer the “guy who can’t win a major,” we can move forward by dropping the labels from our past, and embracing the new person we are because of Jesus. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m thankful that you are constantly changing me and I’m not the person I used to be. Help me to remember this when I face similar situations where I blew it in the past. Please give me the strength to respond differently, and hold on to the reality that I’m a new person because of Jesus. I pray this in His name, Amen.