February 2, 2024 : By Reaghan Avery - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Liberty University welcomed New York Times bestselling author and speaker Sadie Robertson Huff, also known for her family’s reality television show, “Duck Dynasty,” to the Convocation stage Friday morning.
Huff was greeted by a pre-taped recording of her brother and Liberty alumnus John Luke, who celebrated her achievements and welcomed her to the stage.
In 2014, Huff founded Live Original, a women’s ministry with the goal of being “a sister and friend to all” through its blog, conference and events, podcast, and smartphone app. The Robertson family has strong connections to Liberty with various members, including Huff’s parents, Willie and Korie Robertson, having been special guests at Convocation and Commencement.
Sadie began her message by stating that “compromise has big consequences,” and referenced a popular TV series she enjoys watching, “Love is Blind.” She said the show drew her in, but she knew it wasn’t a show that aligned with her morals and values. Ignoring her convictions, she continued to watch the show and even began making excuses for herself.
“Compromise is something that no one else calls you out for or sees, but God sees,” said Huff. “Only you know the conviction of your heart, and only you can follow that.”
Citing James 4:17, she said continuing to do something that goes against one’s conscience is a sin. She explained that people often compromise because in the moment that seems better and more desirable than anything else.
“Compromise offers a temporary satisfaction, but God offers eternal hope,” she said.
Believing God intends for all of His people to live life to the fullest, Huff told students that compromise can hinder that calling and cautioned them against ignoring their convictions, urging them to be authentic in their faith walk.
“The fullness of God is amazing,” she said. “If you want to have peace in an anxious world and be joyful, those things are found in the fullness of God alone. It can get really dangerous when you get good at looking and sounding spiritual. You know the right thing to say, but in reality your heart is in the wrong place.”
Huff said that while the fullness of the Lord is a good thing, it can seem scary because “it requires you to follow God fully, not having one foot in with God and one foot with the world. If you’re worried about living in the fullness of God, the hard part has already been done. Jesus has already paid the price, and now you have the gift of the Holy Spirit, who reminds you of the heart of the Father.”
Huff reminded students that dismissing their personal convictions because they fall in a “gray area” may still be a form of compromise.
“The Bible has no gray area,” she said. “The Bible is pretty clear. Gray is a nothing-less color, and you were not called to be nothing.”
Instead of feeling ashamed or guilty about their convictions, Huff encouraged believers to view their convictions from God as a gift.
“Conviction is not meant to shame you,” she said. “There is no condemnation found in Jesus Christ, so be thankful when you feel convicted. God loves you enough to say He has so much more for you.”
She shared an example from her 2-year-old daughter, whom she had reminded repeatedly not to play by fire. One day she got close, then laid down nearby and told Huff she was going to “chill by it.” Huff said that Christians often take a similar view of sin in that they try to get as close to it without fully “sinning” and should instead try to stay as far away as possible.
“That’s how we act with sin, but that fire will burn you if you touch it,” she said. “We have to get serious when it comes to sin.”
Huff next read from the Creation account in Genesis, specifically noting how God separated the light from the darkness, similar to how modern superhero movies clearly distinguish between good from evil.
“You can know what God says and know that it is true and still fall,” Huff said. “Jesus is the only way to get to the Father, and we shouldn’t convince ourselves that something bad is good. Genesis was the beginning of God writing a redemption story, and it has good news for all of us.”
For the students feeling conviction in an area of their life, Huff urged them to confess, repent, and lean into Jesus.
“Say thank you to God because He has called you to more. The reason that Jesus being alive is so cool is because He once was dead. So, for you, if you transform into a new creation, you get to be a walking testimony of the grace of God, and there is no shame in that.”
Huff concluded by expressing how her convictions have led her from feeling a life of emptiness to living a life of joy. She advised students to fully follow Christ until the end, no matter the cost.
“There will be a person you will stand before one day, and I promise you, you will long to hear the words, ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’”
In an interview following Convocation, Huff shared how Liberty has been a blessing to her family, as several members, including herself, have taken classes through Liberty. Her sister is currently studying in Liberty’s online program.
“We live a pretty normal life but there are certain aspects that aren’t normal, and Liberty has been so flexible and helped our education not to feel too overwhelming,” Huff said.
For students considering pursuing a degree at Liberty, Huff said that “to know that you have a place with people whose hearts want to be closer to the Lord and do what God has put on their hearts to do is an incredible gift.”
Huff said she looks forward to returning to campus for her sister’s graduation ceremony in May.