Bowls With a Bias
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory [standard] of God."1
In Australia, where I grew up, outdoor lawn bowls was a very popular sport. I never took an active interest in it even though my mother and some cousins were avid players. The idea is totally opposite to that of indoor bowls where the goal is to make a strike with your bowling ball so you knock down all the ten pins. Not so with lawn bowls. Simply put, the idea is to bowl so your ball gets as close as possible to the jack (the small white ball at the other end of the bowling green) without hitting it. There are other rules of course but basically, as I understand the game, the one whose ball ends up the closest to the jack, without hitting it, gains the highest score.
Sounds simple, but it's a lot harder than it looks because the lawn bowl ball is more saucer shaped than the fully round indoor bowling ball, and has a weighted bias on one side. This bias causes the ball to pull to one side when bowled for which the bowler has to compensate.
In some ways this is similar to people in that we, too, have a bias that, if we don't acknowledge and compensate for, will lead us astray. The bias is our sin nature that we inherited from birth. This is why we have a bent toward sinning. If you don't believe this, take a look at all the evil in the world.
So how can we live so as to compensate for this bias? First, we need to admit that we have this sin bias (sin nature), and that we are guilty of sinning which, in turn, has separated us from a holy God.
Second, we need to confess our sins to God and ask for his forgiveness based on the fact that he gave his Son, Jesus, to die in our place on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sins.
Third, we need to acknowledge God's great solution for our sinfulness and accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.
Fourth, we need to grow in our Christian life so that we become whole and mature spiritually, and be filled with God's Spirit to enable us to overcome our sinful bias and live a life pleasing to God.
Therefore, if you have never confessed your sins and sinfulness to God and received Jesus as your Savior, I encourage you to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christianówithout having to be religious," online at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that even though I am a sinner you loved me so much you gave your Son, Jesus, to die in my place on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins. Please help me to grow to become whole and mature, and fill me with your Holy Spirit to enable me to live a wholesome life that will bring glory to your name. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 3:23 (NIV).