Those within professional golf did not raise an eyebrow, though some outside observers found the gesture baffling. Before the just completed WGC-Cadillac Championship tournament at Doral, Florida, Steve Stricker helped Tiger Woods work on his putting game. While Stricker’s putting was the best in the tournament, Tiger’s was second-best. The improved putting helped Woods to the victory. While no one will feel sorry for poor Stricker, who finished second to Woods and nabbed a purse of $869,852.94, Woods by winning pocketed $1,441,176.47. Once you have finished staggering at such incredible “earnings,” consider the magnanimity of Stricker. He helped his opponent win.
While you do not hear of that very often among those in the world, the Bible commands Christians to do that every day. Certainly, Jesus shows the attitude a Christian ought to take in his or her relationships with those from the world he calls “opponents” (Mat. 5:25; Lk. 12:58). Paul says that the Christian, through soundness of speech, can put the opponent to shame (Ti. 2:8). But, listen to what Jesus says later on in the Sermon on the Mount. It defies worldly wisdom.
He says not to seek revenge (Mat. 5:38-39), to treat enemies charitably (Mat. 5:40-42), and to love them (Mat 5:43-47). What He does not say here is “why” to do this, except that in doing so we “are perfect” like our heavenly Father is perfect (Mat. 5:48). The Greek word translated perfect here means “Finished, that which has reached its end, term, limit; hence, complete, full, wanting in nothing” (WSNTDICT, elec. ed., 2000). So, the idea is of not being found wanting or lacking.
In evangelism, to be a complete, finished product as a soul-winner, we must be willing to reach out to those who are God’s enemies and even those who may in some way be our “opponents.” We are seeking to help them overcome their shortcomings and reach the prize. It is not debasing or undignified. It does not deprive us of our prize. It only helps add stars to our crowns.