Team USA won the Ryder Cup over the weekend, defeating Europe for the first time since 2008. Being selected as a player to compete for the country is truly an honor…and as a golf fan, the unique team format and intense rivalry provides a thrilling event to watch.
One of the more intriguing story lines surrounding the Ryder Cup was Bubba Watson being left off the team as a player, despite his No. 7 ranking in the world. While picking the players, Bubba was passed over twice by USA’s captain Davis Love III. But instead of being bitter, Bubba asked if he could become a vice captain for the team.
Although somewhat surprising, Bubba put aside his pride to support, cheer, and encourage the golfers who were competing, and had this to say after team USA got the big win:
“As a God-fearing man, I love to help and I love to give. Finally, I found my place on a team is to help. A couple guys called me and said, ‘Bubba, I need you by my side, shoulder-to-shoulder.’ The last couple of days, that’s what I did.
“It was a dream come true for me. This is the greatest thing that I’ve ever done in golf, and I’m so happy for this team. This team was amazing. They took me with open arms and let me be a part of it. For USA, for all that, this is absolutely amazing, the greatest thing that I’ve ever done in my career and been a part of.”
These words said by one of the best golfers in the game (he’s won the Masters twice), is a remarkable display of humility and selflessness. He could have spent the week at home being bitter, but instead chose to serve the team with joy and excitement.
This story is an encouragement and challenge for all of us today. We daily battle against our ego, selfishness, discouragement, and self-centeredness. We want to be chosen and usually enjoy being acknowledged for our hard work. Getting passed over or not being awarded for something we want is very disappointing.
However, in these moments we can be a true example of Jesus if we respond with grace, love, and humility. It can be a testament to our faith if we surrender our feelings to Jesus, while putting aside our pride to serve others.
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV), “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
By being willing to take a backseat and be there for the team, Bubba showed how to have a unifying attitude. Today, let’s find ways to support and encourage others with humility and love. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that I would live a life that seeks to serve others and put their needs ahead of my own. I pray for opportunities to set aside my pride and display humility for the benefit of others. Please help me fight against bitterness and selfishness, so that I can pursue unity and peace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.