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Campus favorite Jon Acuff returns to Convocation

April 18, 2014 : By Melissa Skinner/Liberty University News Service

Jon Acuff addresses students at Liberty University Convocation.

New York Times best-selling author Jon Acuff, who is a favorite speaker among the student body at Liberty University, specifically addressed the senior class during his message at Convocation on Friday. He shared three tips he wished that he had known when he was a college student: (1) You do not need to have the rest of your life figured out. (2) Do not be afraid. And (3) Learn to be patient.

Acuff is the author of “Stuff Christians Like” and most recently “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average & Do Work that Matters.” For 16 years, he has helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples, and the Dave Ramsey Team. He has also become a social media expert, and has more than 200,000 followers on Twitter. His blog is read by 4 million people worldwide.

Acuff began by confessing that nobody who is successful today, if they are being honest, knew exactly what they wanted to do with their life when they were in college.

“We want details from God, but He so rarely gives us details. He gives us an invitation,” Acuff said. “The reality is that none of us are qualified, but in Christ we are qualified. You already have everything you need to be qualified for what you need to do with your life if you do it with Jesus and the people that matter to you.”

Jon Acuff poses for a selfie with a Liberty University student.
Author and consultant Jon Acuff posed for several selfies as he interacted with Liberty University students and signed copies of his books after speaking in Convocation.

He went on to explain that bravery is not easy, and God does not expect us to be fearless all the time.

 “Do not worry about fear because it is going to show up,” he said. “Being afraid is not failing. Staying afraid is failure.”

The distinction between having fear and being controlled by it is very important, Acuff said. When fear takes control, it leads to regret.

“Fear and regret are not the same thing because regret has a longer shelf life than fear,” he said. “There are some things God is telling you to do in your college life, but you are afraid to do it. I would rather face fear today than regret forever.”

He shared the story of the prodigal son and reminded the students how the father embraced his son and threw him a party when he returned home. However, the father didn’t speak to him, Acuff pointed out.

“Remember God will never be handcuffed by your failures or unleashed by your successes,” he said. “If you are a senior in the room and God feels quiet right now, maybe He has you embraced and He is too busy planning your party.”