‘Let the chips fall where they may’

Published 10:25 pm Friday, August 19, 2016

By Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr.

Dr. Ken Elzinga is a professor of economics at the University of Virginia, where he has won many awards, including the Jefferson Award, the highest honor for a U.Va. faculty member. His classes are popular and packed with students.

But Ken’s goal in life is not to win the approval or applause of others. He lives his life for an audience of One.

Email newsletter signup

Many years ago, when Elzinga was a young professor and a new Christian, a colleague warned him not to be too open about his faith. He told him that it could marginalize him and limit opportunities in academia.

Soon after, Ken was walking through campus, when he noticed a flier for a campus ministry, displayed in a prominent place. There was his face emblazoned on the flier, advertising the fact that he was going to speak at the Christian gathering.

He looked around, and quietly took down the flier. Then he went home and tossed and turned in bed, and that night Ken Elzinga made a decision that would free him for life.

He decided that he would be an unashamed follower of Jesus Christ, and “let the chips fall where they may.” He decided that as a true follower of Jesus, being private about his faith was simply not an option. He decided to live his life for an audience of One.

He got out of bed, walked back down to that prominent place on campus and put the flier back up. From that moment, he was free to be himself.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 1:10, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

It is so liberating to live your life for God’s glory and honor alone. It frees us from self-absorption. It frees us from the craving for human acceptance and approval. We are free to love people, instead of fearing them or needing them to like us. Why? Because we know we are already accepted and loved by God.

When you know you are a child of the King, a lot of the stress in life just melts away.

Alec Hill is President of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.

A few years ago, 16,000 college students gathered for a missions conference in St. Louis. Just as the crowd was gathering, a main water line that serviced the stadium broke. Authorities said it could be fixed in a few hours — or a few days.

As it turns out, it was a few hours, but, Alec said, “For four long hours, the outcome hung in the balance. A Type A personality, I wanted to run around panicked. Rather, to my surprise, I remained calm. Why? Because I had been learning that being the slave of a good and powerful Master has its privileges. I had performed all of my duties, done everything I was supposed to do. And my Master was in control.”

He sure is. So stay in your role. We have a God who loved us so much that he gave his Son to die for our sins. He is risen from the dead. Death is conquered. He can handle your challenges. Give yourself to Him.

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr. is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.