Tennis had been an outlet, a way of dealing with frustrations even at a young age. He would practice against a backboard and serve buckets of balls on the city park courts enjoying every minute of hitting the ball as hard as he could. He developed a tenacity and endurance that allowed him to compete with boys across town that routinely received lessons from their club professionals. He received affirmation when he won the first tournament he played on their turf at age 11.
Shortly after that victory, one of the lead city professionals held a ‘day with a pro’ at the city park the boy always worked out at. The young man enjoyed the day on the courts learning more about the game he loved. Then he heard the pro telling his dad that he had no chance of progressing in the game of tennis, he simply would not be good enough without professional lessons. Lessons were certainly not in the family’s budget so, per the pro, the boy’s dream of playing tennis in college and beyond was done.
Rebuke Lies: “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” – Genesis 3:4-5. Eve and Adam bought into the lie that they were not good enough as God made them. With his professional help, they would have what it takes to “be like God, knowing good and evil.” The rest is history. There are three root lies here: You are not good enough; You don’t have what it takes; and You are powerless. Often these lies get planted in our minds at a young age by someone held in high esteem. They are to be rebuked as Jesus rebuked satan in Matthew 4:1-11, with the word of God. You are good enough – “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Ps139:13). You have what it takes – “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” (Ps139:14). And you have power – “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength.” (Phil.4:13). Rebuke the lies and walk boldly in who you are and Whose you are.
The young man went on to play college tennis and had a short run on the professional circuit. In spite of some degree of success he was busted later in life that while he had used the teaching pro’s opinion as motivation he had allowed the lie to rob him of the joy in playing the game he loved. It became a proving ground, in his own strength, to prove he was “good enough” and that he had “what it takes” to be a man. That serpent is crafty. Praise God that through Jesus the Christ we have power to rebuke him.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the many gifts and blessings in my life. Forgive me for listening to others’ opinions instead of turning to You through Your word and prayer. Help me walk in the confidence of being fearfully and wonderfully made and the strength that is the resurrected Christ in my life. Grant me clarity and discernment to rebuke lies that percolate in my life to become the man, husband and father You call me to be and the example You expect me to be for my family. Amen.
A faithful father rebukes lies and empowers his family with Truth, the word of God.