Here I am sitting in my office. I’d been out speaking on the road and I’ve come home and I’m in my office and here stand my kids outside my office door. I see their faces through the glass. Seth, my oldest, opens the door and he says, “Dad, you know, you said you were going to take us to the Twins game. There are only a couple left this year. ” Then my wife said to me, “You know, Guy, you’re not a very happy person. You’re not really very fun to live with.”
I no longer was a child who was beating myself on my legs poking thumb tacks into my thighs but I’d become caught up. My book made it to number 8 on the Christian best seller list. How come it didn’t make it to number 1? I’m chosen as a national teacher of the year, is there an international teacher of the year award? Is there a best person of the year award? Can I compete for that? I have seen all of life ever since I decided to drop in instead of dropout, as competition. Competition! I’ll tell you, when you see life in that way you don’t really value anybody or anything. You really miss out on the abundance that Christ has intended for us in this life.
For the last year and a half, I’ve been going through some pretty big changes. Pulling this out, pulling this out, pulling this out, and looking at it. Re-examining priorities. What I’ve discovered, that for me, to understand where I am today I have to look at the foundation on which my life has been built. And I looked back to a lot of those feeling of rejection that I had as a kid and I realize, I believe, that those are lies of Satan. I need to replace them with the truth of God’s love for me. The same love that God has for Guy, he has for you. The same love that God has for you he has for the person you love the least.
The first time I was here I said, “We only love Jesus as much as the person we love the least .” I love my kids. Do you have any idea right now the person next to you what their personal pain is their going through? That person who’s difficult for you to get along with at work. I’ve always said that obnoxious qualities in other people are just cries for help. People who are obnoxious and difficult to get along with might as well be saying, “Help me, beat down my walls “. There was a kid in my class that was obnoxious. One day I had my students just write about anything they wanted to write about.
This is what he wrote about: “One problem I’ve seen is the use of drugs, mostly alcohol. My family’s been plagued with problems related to drinking. My brothers started when they were young and they drank quite a bit when they were in high school. Their grades were not very good and they all dropped out before graduating. A few years later three of them had jobs and one was unemployed. Two of them worked in the deep South doing construction and one worked in the city as a machinist in a defense plant. One day while I was at work I had some visitors. I went out to say hello. There were two older men friends of my dad that told me that I had to leave work right away because of a family emergency. I didn’t ask no questions. I just changed my clothes and left. As we were heading to the car one of them spoke up and said that something had happened to my brother, the one in the city. I asked if he was all right. He just turned to me and said, “Your brother’s dead. He died in a car accident ” The shock never hit me for a week, in fact. I never realize what happened for weeks. Even at his funeral I never felt the shock About two days after his funeral my dad decided to get a divorce. If the fact that my brothers death isn’t enough on my mom, I might mention that my dad drinks very heavily. After that my mom started to drink and I’m watching her decay before my eyes. One day I told her what I saw and I told her that she’s got to stop and that if she continues she’s going to kill herself. Several weeks later we got the doctor’s report back from the examiner, I found out that my brother was drunk at the time of his accident. It was a head on collision. The steering wheel pushed into his chest and pulled the big arteries from his heart by the roots. It’s too bad that something like that has to happen to make people realize what their doing to themselves and others. Maybe if people would take a hold of something solid like faith in Christ maybe then and only then would the troubles of our time be solved.”
By the time I’d finished reading that in class I was crying. Maybe if people would take a hold of something solid like faith in Christ. He’s the one that gives value to people. He’s the one that establishes value in the home. He’s the one who can bring value to the world. You know what I’ve discovered? I’m still on a journey. I’ve been through a lot of pain. I can honestly say however that I’m happier right now than I’ve ever been in my life. But I’ve discovered that Jesus Christ drives a slug bug and there’s room enough in it for everybody.
What exactly have I been saying? I’ve been a high school teacher since 1975 and I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds and literally thousands of kids come into my classroom and walked through these doors. All of my years of teaching, all of my experiences as a teacher has taught me a number of things. I want to share with you three of those things. The first thing is don’t believe everything you’ve learned. Might be kind of surprising to hear that coming from a teacher but don’t believe everything you’ve learned.
Guy Doud learned as a kid that because my family wasn’t one of the prominent families in the community and because my dad and mom struggled with alcoholism and because I was obese I wasn’t as important as other kids. Dear ones, that’s an out and out lie. The Bible tells of in I Peter 5:8 to be on guard and be on the alert for your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. You know how Satan does that? He’s very, very crafty. He’s very subtle. How does he devour us? Well one of the ways that he devours us is that he gets us to believe lies. Out and out lies.
Some of you who have listened to this tape you believe lies about yourself. You believe that because you don’t look like that figure in that magazine or that popular television character or that soap opera, Beverly Hills 90210 or what ever it is, that because you don’t look like that person for some reason you’re not as good or not as prominent. You know what? That’s a lie. I want you to know that the Bible tells us that you and me, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God has a plan and a purpose for you. It’s exciting when we tap into God’s plan and purpose for our lives. We join hands with Him and we walk with Him and we journey down the Christian path together. It’s an exciting adventure.
As a seventh grader, I committed my life to Jesus Christ. I got up and I went forward at the altar call at the end of movie the “Restless Ones”. I asked Jesus Christ to become the Lord and the Saviour of my life. Have you done that? That’s where the journey begins. By saying yes to Jesus. Take it from this teacher, point number one is don’t believe all that you’ve learned because Satan tries to teach you a bunch of lies.
Secondly, point number two, never give up. I see a lot of people, a lot of kids have come through those doors into my classroom who’ve given up. Kids who’ve said well it’s just no use. Well I want you to know that one of my favorite verses in scripture is Phil 4:13 where the apostle Paul writes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me “. Now it doesn’t say I can do some things, or I can do most things, or even I can do almost everything. It says I can do all things. What do you need in your life dear friend? I’m going to tell you that Jesus can give you the strength. He can fill you with His Holy Spirit that gives you the power that you need to succeed so that you can meet all the challenges that face you.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be rough times in your life. It doesn’t mean that you won’t face temptation and that doesn’t mean that sometimes you’re not going to fall and fail, but what it does mean is that God is able to help you endure. There’s no temptation that comes your way that isn’t common to man. That somehow that Jesus cannot give you the power to rise above that temptation to come out the winner. Always remember that as you walk the Christian life, you’ve already won. You may lose a little battle here and there but Jesus Christ has already won the war. Never give up. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
And finally, I guess the thing I want to stress more than anything is that there’s a need to grab a hold of something solid. What are you building your life on, dear friend? The false assurance of doing well in life –a career, in school, good grades, being popular? The false assurance of alcohol or drugs? You know, in this day of rock `n roll what we need is a rock that DOESN’T roll. We need a solid rock, and his name is Jesus Christ. Are you building your life on His foundation?