by Pine Cove
By Davis “Bullet” Bragg
During the summer of 2021, I had the pleasure of giving a Monday night Club talk at the Ridge. Our Bible study theme was “Identity,” so my talk focused on our identity outside of Christ. I spoke about the ways we often place things before God and try to find our identity in work, school, relationships, sports, and other things. This centered around my testimony, which described the way the Lord allowed me to blow out my elbow and tear my rotator cuff while playing baseball at a time in my life when sports were my life.
Baseball used to be my whole identity. In high school, I had Division 1 scholarship offers to play in college. Because of my injury, though, I ended up hanging up the cleats and going to the University of Alabama for school. It was there that I was recruited to come work at Pine Cove, and I gave my life to full-time ministry.
At the end of my Club talk, a freshman boy walked up to me and said, “I just want you to know, I’m here to prove people wrong.” He told me that his dad was a professional swimmer and had competed in the Olympic trials several times. His dad didn’t think that his son had what it took to be a professional athlete. I asked him, “What do you achieve if you prove your dad wrong?” He thought about it for a while and said, “Well, I prove him wrong.”
I then proceeded to challenge the camper to change his mindset. “Your identity is not in the way you perform. Your identity is not found in your dad’s approval. Your identity should be in the Lord. Ultimately, the Lord placed us on this earth to give Him glory with the gifts and abilities that He blessed us with. We were designed to do just that, not prove our parents or anyone else wrong. That doesn’t have any eternal value. Working hard to be excellent in the name of the Lord—THAT has eternal value. That’s what you were created to do! 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 speaks of the eternal aspect of working hard in His name. So work hard, but work out of the identity that you are a son of a God who loves you and cares for you!”
After the camper left that night, I never got to catch up with him again, but the camper’s counselor and senior counselor continued to pour into him throughout the week. All three of us, through the work of the Holy Spirit, gave the camper the same challenge. We never talked about it amongst ourselves, but the Lord knew what that camper needed to hear. On Friday the camper walked up to his senior counselor, tapped him on the shoulder, and asked, “Did you hear the good news? I’M A SON OF GOD.” That week, he had been led to Christ by his counselor. Praise the Lord!
Posted Feb 23, 2023