Self-fulfilling prophecies

By Dave Henning / July 1, 2015

Mark Batterson ends Chapter 11 of The Grave Robber with a section on self-fulfilling prophecies.  He notes that it is no insignificant detail that the man by the Bethesda pool is called invalid.  The man is synonymous with his sickness.  Pastor Batterson states there is a lesson to be learned: don’t let what’s wrong with you define you.

Mark states that our culture has the tendency to reduce people to labels.  That tendency is unhealthy, unholy, and dehumanizing.  We cannot allow anyone to label us except the One who made us.  For example, the impetuous Peter was given a new label by Jesus- “The Rock.”  Jesus redefined Peter’s identity, and ultimately he lived up to it.

Our word are powerful, for better or for worse.  They double as self-fulfilling prophecies.  Fear validates negative prophecies, while positive prophecies are validated by faith.  Mark doubles back to the question of this miracle: Do you want to get well?  He concludes:

“If you don’t, keep doing what you’re doing.  If you do, take a step of faith.  Then another.  And another.  And if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll eventually get to where God wants you to go.  Most miracles are the by-product of ‘a long obedience in the same direction (Eugene Peterson).’ ”

Today’s question: What self-fulfilling prophecies have defined you following your vocation loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Second-order change”

About the author

Dave Henning


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