What are mulligans? Since “mulling” is to meditate or ponder something, are mulligans people who can’t make up their minds? Actually, mulligans are free golf shots taken to replace the previous bad shot. With enough mulligans, mediocre players can score like pros.
One day, a father who knew nothing about golf drove the golf cart to watch his two sons play. Why would anyone whack a little white ball and then chase after it? This made as much sense as kids throwing a stick and with no dog to fetch it, then running after it themselves.
Dad wanted to learn more about the game. This sport was supposed to be relaxing—calming the soul, which apparently was best achieved by searching for balls in tall grass.
On the fourth green, Dad questioned whether the calming effect was working. The shots seemed to be creating frustration, not eliminating it.
“Picked the wrong club,” one son said.
That made sense. He should have picked whichever club would make the ball go straight.
After three-putting the seventh hole, the other son let out a string of expletives.
“What’s wrong?” Dad couldn’t see why play now was any different from the missed shots on previous holes.
The son looked steamed. “I’m already out of mulligans.”
“I can go to the clubhouse and get more,” Dad said. “Is that what I ask for . . . mulligans?”
His son had to explain what a mulligan was. Whether you won or lost wasn’t the main concern. How you played didn’t matter that much either. What mattered was how the score went down.
All the bad shots were what made mulligans so important.
We should be thankful for a forgiving God who allows  mulligans when we make bad choices. When he says, “That shot doesn’t count,” we can learn from our mistake and strive to do better next time.
And with God’s help, we will.
If we confess our wrongdoing, he is sure to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9