Om God se Lewe vir My Wil te Vind

Finding God's Life For My Will


In seventh grade, I was sent to the principal’s office forty-two times. Yes, you read that correctly. Forty-two times. You might now be asking, “Why am I taking spiritual advice from a delinquent? Great question. Here’s why. In short, I had an amazing principal who refused to label me based on my mistakes. Randy Brunk was his name. Over and over again, I would be sent to his office. But instead of him calling me “troublemaker” or “class clown” or “lost cause,” like some of the faculty would refer to me, he simply called me “young man” or “sir.” Even though my actions did not merit such courtesy, Mr. Brunk refused to let my failures define me. He embodies the quote that’s been attributed to both Goethe and Emerson: “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” We spend our whole lives trying to be good enough to wear a new nametag, not realizing Jesus, like my principal, is already calling us by a new one. We don’t need to make ourselves new, we simply need to believe what He says about us.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come.” I don’t know what mistakes you see when you look in the mirror. But whoever you believe is looking back at you, rest assured that is who you will act like. Labels are powerful things. Maybe you never learned to look past the labels you were given at thirteen. Maybe you agreed with the mistakes you made and that’s who you’ve been ever since. Maybe you dreamed of having a principal like mine because yours only told you who you would never be. Maybe you’re hoping this time you’ll finally get your act together. Maybe this will be the time you pick yourself up by your bootstraps and make yourself new. Maybe. Well, before you try to do that, I want to remind you what I learned as a middle school menace. Behavior follows the label, not the other way around. And the best part? You are a new creation right now, right where you stand, if you would simply believe it. You don’t deserve it. In fact, none of us can deserve it. We only receive it. And when we receive the new name grace gives us, we begin to act like who we were made to be. 

I have four daughters now (pray for me). Having four girls in the house is great. It just means someone’s always crying and it’s usually me. And no, I’m not praying for a boy. I’ve found the Lord gives girls to a family that already has a man. Hey O! But now that I’m a father, I’m intensely aware of how early we begin to believe our labels. Just a few days ago, after several willful displays of abject disobedience, my four-year-old groaned, “I always do everything wrong.” 

Hearing those words come out of her little mouth sent knives right through me. I knelt down and held her face gently in my hands. “No, baby,” I countered firmly yet tenderly. “You made some bad choices today, but that is not who you are. You are a child of light, and tomorrow we get a new chance to act like it. Mercy is new every morning.” 

“Every morning?” She said, raising her sorrowful eyes to mine, endless pools of blue and possibility. “Every morning, sweet girl. I know because I need it every morning too.” 

We hugged and I cried way more than she did. If I have any job on this earth, it is first and foremost to tell my sweet daughters every day who they get to be. After forty-two trips to Randy’s office, I believe we all end up becoming who we believe we are. Or maybe I should say, whose we believe we are.

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Finding God's Life For My Will

Do you want full clarity on God’s will for your life? Mike Donehey, lead singer for Tenth Avenue North, felt the same way until he realized God’s purpose for our lives is not the shell game we make it out to be. In this ...

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