40 "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."
Heart of Discipleship
by Makayla Williams, Baylor University freshman
When I was in elementary school, we had book fairs every year. When I was in the first grade, I remember begging my mom to come inside when she dropped me off at school so that I could buy something. Along with toys that I really didn’t need, I picked out a book called “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Every night afterwards, I read it before I went to bed. Sometimes I would even vandalize it with drawings, or I would practice writing my name in the back of the book. However, the point of the story is to recall a line that Skin Horse says to the Rabbit in this book. Skin Horse says, “generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
Now, let’s rewrite this to fit our devotion. “Generally, by the time you are [good enough for society], most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you [aim for godliness rather than earthly perfection] you can’t be [not good enough], except to the people who don’t understand.” We were never created with the intention to be “perfect” and by our earthly standards, we never will be. God created us with the desire to depend on Him. Without him, we are sinful in nature and far from “heavenly.” In fact, we don’t even have to try to be “enough” because God has already covered that for us. We aren’t struggling because of the specifics of our circumstances, as much as we are struggling because we fail to trust God to give us what we need, to show us where we are supposed to go and what we are supposed to do. Deep down, we struggle to believe God is going to lead us to what is best for us. When we choose to actively live as a disciple of God, we then can receive the rewards promised by Jesus. Even when we don’t feel worthy or good enough, God will always see us as worthy.
Jesus calls for us to openly invite other disciples into our lives. When our lives are filled with those of godly character, our spirits become inhabited by not only the love of Christ, but His promises. A prayer that I say that helps me remember this is:
“I am thankful for the blessings that I have received.
There are many days when I don’t feel good enough, and that I will never measure up to what is expected from me.
I give in to the lie that I will never accomplish the things that I believe you created me to do.
I often feel like I am letting you and other people down.
I am afraid of being a disappointment, a failure.
I pray that You would help me to see myself the way that You see me.
Help me to look at my life through your eyes.
I am deserving of love and of the good things that You have brought into my life.
When I don’t feel good enough, help me to remember that You are continually working with me and through me.
Help me to keep my focus firmly on you.
May I recognize my true worth and value, especially when others put me down.
May I boldly embrace each opportunity to reveal Your divine design and to fill my heart with joy and those who emulate your love.”
Learn More About Our Guest Writer
Makayla Williams is a first-year student from Humble, Texas, majoring in Professional Writing and Rhetoric and minoring in Corporate Communications. She holds distinction as a member of the inaugural Gilbert-Walker cohort of the Trailblazer Scholars Program, a program she learned of while researching ways to make her Baylor experience more affordable. After learning of the program’s goals, she applied and was selected as one of 12 freshmen among the 25-student cohort.
Created in July 2020, the Trailblazer Scholars Program supports student leaders who have actively committed to conversations and initiatives advancing racial conciliation on Baylor’s campus and throughout the nation. The Gilbert-Walker cohort of Trailblazer Scholars is named after Baylor’s first Black graduates: Rev Robert Gilbert and Mrs. Barbara Walker.