Engaging with the Gospel – Adam LaRoche
By: Adam LaRoche
May 10, 2017
Ultimately, I want people to meet Christ.
I love talking to and working alongside non-believers. Most people, whether they know it or not, are searching—they want to place their hope in something. No one really wants to believe that when we all die, that’s it. This is an internal struggle that a lot of people are facing because deep down, they know there’s got to be something more and they are afraid to think that there’s not.
I really enjoy engaging with people who are struggling with these thoughts and working through hurdles with them. I want to give people a different view from what they perceive the Church to be—really spiritual people who think that they have it all together. That’s not what we are.
Some of the questions I often hear are: What is God asking us to do? What does it look like to be a follower of Christ? Does it mean that we are only allowed to sin a certain number of times? Are we no longer allowed to cuss, drink, or have any fun ever again? I think the biggest fear that people have about becoming a Christian is that they don’t want to stop doing all the things they are currently doing, but their view of God is totally off. Our God is not a high being ready to smack us on top of our heads when we do something wrong. Becoming a Christian isn’t about a list of “don’ts,” it’s about understanding that once we commit our lives to Christ, these changes will slowly happen. They won’t be as appealing anymore because our hearts will change to be like His.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” —Romans 12:2
God is our Father. Think about how we should be to our children—we don’t want them to fall but we also won’t babysit them forever. So when they do fall, which they all will, we will be right there to dust them off and help them keep rolling. In the same way God is saying, “I’m here with you, no matter what.” It’s a good feeling to know that I have someone going through life with me—the ultimate Someone.
In some ways, the longer you are a Christian, the more challenging it can be to engage with non-believers. We can easily get stuck in a mindset of what we think Christianity should look like depending on what we were taught or how we were raised. It’s hard for us to think that maybe our parents’ theology wasn’t perfect, so we tend to think that we have it all figured out—that our way is the only way.
I don’t want my kids to fall into that trap, thinking that their first priorities consist of school, sports, career, and comfort. I want them to know that their faith, morals, and values are much more important. But our society makes it easy to fall into the first mindset. I see many times that kids are grounded for a week if they come home with an F on their test, but if they talk back to their mom or lie to their teacher, they simply have to go to their room for an hour. These standards scream that school is more important than character. We have to be careful as parents to not give them the perception that we care more about their success than we do about their heart.
I want my kids to know that school and sports are great—they’re important—but we need to look for God’s plan in whatever we are doing and figure out ways to serve Him where we are.
Adam LaRoche is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Adam’s profile on The Increase: http://theincrease.com/author/adam-laroche/
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