Since I was old enough to compete in sports and date girls, I was striving for
significance in accomplishments and security in relationships. In high school and
college I had both.
Significance came from being a good distance runner. My high school was in a small
rural town. Whenever we had success as a team it brought great pride to our town and
personal recognition from the people in that town.
My security came from a relationship with my high school sweetheart. Having someone
know me deeply and express her love and commitment to me gave me a deep sense of
Both ended in a period of months. An injury the fall of my college sophomore year
prevented me from running cross country competitively. And, during Christmas break,
my sweetheart, whom I had planned on marrying, said she didn’t want to see me
Suddenly, the things I trusted in for significance and security were gone. The emotional
pain and the thought that my life would be filled with things like this, led me to want to
end my life. I started to walk out of my room but also mumbled a prayer, “God, if you are
real, I need to know it now!”
Before I got to the door, I noticed a small Bible given to me at college. The first page I
turned to had a list of words with verses next to them. Adultery caught my attention and
the verse said that if I looked at a woman in lust, it would be better to have my eyes
plucked out than to be cast into hell.
The suicide option immediately left me. I realized that if I died, I was going to hell
because I stood guilty of adultery and hell would be worse than having my eyes gouged
For over three hours, I continued to look through the list of terms and read the
accompanying verses hoping to find a way out of this bleak eternal destiny dilemma.
Then It became apparent to me that the reason Jesus Christ died on the cross was to
forgive all of my sins, including adultery. At that moment, I asked Jesus to forgive me of
anything I had done out of rebellion or passive indifference towards Him.
I began to learn more about how the Bible described my relationship with God. My
desire for significance and security has not changed but the source has. My security
comes from my relationship with God. He knows me better than anyone ever could,
and yet loves me with a love that was demonstrated by Jesus dying on the cross. He
also promises that he will never leave me or forsake me. My significance comes from
God calling me his child!! There is nothing more significant than being known for that!
Since then, trials and successes of life come and go. I have been through many ups
and downs including broken relationships, failures and disappointments in life: lost jobs,
sharing the hurt of miscarriages with my wife, etc. But…
Before I knew Jesus, I tried to gain security and significance from accomplishments and
relationships. NOW I bring significance and security INTO relationships and efforts to
accomplish things because my life is grounded on a solid foundation. John