False Predictions & Transcendent Faith by Rev. Tony Cooke

False Predictions & Transcendent Faith Rev. Tony Cooke

Aren’t you glad that the experts aren’t always right!

  • Lucille Ball’s drama instructors wrote to the fifteen year old girl’s mother and told her that her daughter had no talent and was too introverted to make it in show business.
  • Albert Einstein’s Munich teacher told the ten-year old boy, “You will never amount to very much.”
  • A minor league manager watched Hank Aaron and commented, “That kid can’t play baseball.”  Aaron later went on to break Babe Ruth’s home run record.
  • An NBC television executive suggested to Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, “Get rid of the pointed ears guy.”
  • In 1962, the Decca Recording Company turned down the Beatles, saying, “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
  • Elvis Presley was fired after one performance in 1954, and was told, “You ain’t going nowhere.  You ought to go back to driving a truck.”
  • An MGM executive in 1929 noted in response to Fred Astaire’s screen test, “Can’t act.  Can’t sing.  Balding.  Can dance a little.”
  • Dewey Defeats Truman.”  That was the headline of the Chicago Tribune on November 4, 1948.
  • A Chicago Time editorial in 1863 wrote of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dish-watery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as President of the United States.”
  • Fred Smith, the founder of Federal Express, wrote a paper at Yale in which he proposed an overnight delivery service.  His management professor wrote on the paper, “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’ the idea must be feasible.”

Countless people have had negative, restricting, and potentially crushing words spoken over their lives.  Thank God that there are examples of people whose faith transcended such “death sentences.”  The great men and women of the Bible were those who rose above criticism, scorn, and nay-saying:

  • Joseph and David were both ridiculed by their brothers.
  • Job had to overcome the condemnation and accusations of his “friends.”
  • Nehemiah was mocked by Tobiah, who said, "Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall” (Nehemiah 4:3).
  • Jeremiah was unpopular in his ministry, and said, “I am in derision daily, and everyone mocks me” (Jeremiah 20:7).
  • Jesus was called a blasphemer and Paul was labeled a troublemaker.


Lou Holtz, the former head coach of the Notre Dame football team said, “So what if someone wrote your obituary, that doesn’t mean you are obligated to die."  Isn’t it great that no one has the final word about our identity or destiny except God and us?  Psalms 119:69 in the Message Version says, “The godless spread lies about me, but I focus my attention on what you are saying.” 

The generation that God brought out of Egypt was full of doubt, murmuring, and complaints, and they “projected” that hopelessness toward their own children.  But God had a better plan for that new generation, and He said in Numbers 14:31, “But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.”  That new generation had the potential to rise above the “death sentence” that others had spoken over them.  They had the opportunity to discover and seize upon a new destiny—a better future—through God’s ability and promises. 

Perhaps you’ve had people actually attempt to de-value you through destructive words, or maybe you’ve been bombarded by thoughts from “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10).  Either way, as Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Our faith really can transcend the false predictions and toxic words of others.