I have a real tendency to take life too seriously and try as hard as I do I often find myself slipping back to the old me and not forgiving myself. It is very simple to show that such an attitude is not good and certainly it can be very destructive.
I can remember a Monday morning and I was playing with a number of other ministers from various parishes in the area. I was playing very well and feeling good about my round golf. As we approached the ninth green my friend and the minister I was competing with said to me, "I was talking to one of your church members earlier this morning. She was telling me that yesterdays sermon was not one of your better ones."
Well, almost instantly my golf took a turn for the worse. Balls that before had been going straight down the fairway were now heading off and into the rough long grass. Before long the almost commanding lead I had had disappeared. It was only then that my friend pointed out that he had been pulling my leg. "I needed to get some advantage over you. I was heading for a whitewash," he said.
Thank goodness the man in this short story did not take life too seriously.