Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…(John 1:12)
Evidently, Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Insecurity about who we are is a significant contributor to a pervasive mindset and feeling of being ‘less than’ and ‘not measuring up’. That’s why I believe John 1:12 and other verses like it about who we are in Christ is pivotal to overcoming inferiority.
One morning, during their holidays, a seminary professor was having breakfast with his wife at a little restaurant. He was looking forward to having a quiet meal with his wife when he noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man was moving from table to table talking to guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, ‘I hope he doesn’t come over here.’ But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.
‘Where are you folks from?’ he asked in a friendly voice. ‘Oklahoma ,’ they answered. ‘Great to have you here in Tennessee,’ the man said. ‘What do you do for a living?’ ‘I teach at a seminary,’ the professor replied. ‘Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, don’t you? Well, I’ve got a really great story for you.’ And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple. The professor groaned and thought to himself, ‘Great … Just what I need … another preacher story!’
The man started, ‘See that mountain over there? (pointing out the restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because it didn’t matter where he was, people would ask the same question, “Who’s your daddy?”. He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad.
When he was about 12 years old, his church had a new pastor. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, “Who’s your daddy?”. But one day, the pastor said the benediction so fast that he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the back door, the pastor, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, “Son, who’s your daddy?”
The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, “Who’s your daddy?” This pastor, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy, “Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.”
With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, “Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.” The boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, “Who’s your Daddy?”, he’d just tell them, “I’m a child of God’”.
The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, “Isn’t that a great story?” The professor enthusiastically agreed. As the man turned to leave, he said, “You know, if that pastor hadn’t told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!” And he walked away.
The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, “Do you know who that man was – the one who just left that was sitting at our table?” The waitress grinned and said, “Of course. Everybody here knows him. That’s Ben Hooper. He’s the governor of Tennessee!”.
Do you know that through the Lord Jesus, you have been made a child of God?
“Lord, help us to have faith in you and your word!”