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Judy Downs

I was pretty sure I was something special.

I was the only writer/editor at Arrowhead Springs.  I was the associate editor of Collegiate Challenge Magazine.  My boss was Bill Bright.  My first year on Campus Crusade staff included trips to Seattle, Berkeley, UCLA, Balboa Beach, Palm Springs—all to write up activities of CCC among college students.  Pretty heady stuff for a just-graduated, new-on-the-job young woman.

I loved my job!  And, deep inside, I thought the ministry got a good deal when I said “yes” to God’s call.

However, apparently my arrogance was not buried so deeply inside me.  Others could see my self-important attitude.  And they were offended by it.

At the end of my first year on staff, Dr. Bright invited me into his office.  We talked about the magazine, articles he and I were writing, the effectiveness of this tool on campus.  Then he asked a penetrating question:

“Judy, are you walking in the Spirit?”

Pause.

“I think so,” I stammered.

He responded, “Others are not so sure of that.”  He elaborated on the pride that was evident to others working beside me.

Bill Bright

Then he asked, “Are you sure you are called to be on Campus Crusade staff?”

That was easy for me to answer:  “I am sure that God called me to this ministry.”

His next words reminded me of Jesus with the woman caught in adultery:  “Then neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.”  Dr Bright said kindly, “Then go and walk in the Spirit.”

A sobering conversation, for sure.  But transformational for me.  No, I haven’t always walked in the Spirit since then.  But I am consistently conscious of the incredible grace God has extended to allow me to serve Him in ways I have.   I know that I am unworthy and inadequate.  Yet, as I live by His Spirit, He continues to give mercy and strength and wisdom and ideas—and even fruitfulness.

I am grateful Bill Bright did not shrink back from the hard question, but I am so glad he also offered mercy and grace at the same time.

What about you?  Has someone asked you a hard question?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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