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Photo: London Marathon

"God answers my prayers everywhere except on the golf-course."

Billy Graham

Being gracious

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt. Colossians 4:6

I have a policy of not mentioning athletes by name in my weekly email as I never want someone to feel that they are just an illustration! I am going to break that rule this week. Last month I was working at the London Marathon. The 2014 winner, Wilson Kipsang, finished second.

Athletics Weekly magazine commented on how gracious Wilson had been in defeat: Full of smiles, not appearing disappointed, not making excuses but saying he was happy for the winner.

It is hard to lose when you have trained so hard and you know that you are capable of winning. Dealing with it in a gracious way is not always easy but - as the Athletics Weekly article showed - people notice it when you do.

I remember watching a Christian hurdler, who had fallen during the race, being stopped by a young fan who asked for a photograph. The last thing you want to do in the moment when you are disappointed, frustrated with yourself, annoyed that you have flown across the Atlantic without finishing the race, is pose for a photo. But the athlete agreed to the photo, smiled broadly and made the young fan’s day.

With God's spirit living in us, making us each day more like Jesus, let us look for opportunities to be gracious even if we don't really feel like it!

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