My 9-year-old asked me this morning at the breakfast table whether she had to be a Christian when she grew up. I said no, she had to make her own choice, and that following Jesus was not easy because it means putting other people first, being kind and not being selfish. She nodded and smiled and said casually, “Well I don’t think I will be a Christian when I grow up.”
Unfazed, I asked her why not. “Because I like being selfish. You have to be selfish sometimes, don’t you?”
I raised my eyebrows and gave her ‘the look’. She grinned impishly and the conversation abruptly ended because it was nearly 8.30 and time to go to school.
My point is that I remain convinced that what Tim says in this blog post is true: it is not my job to convince even my own child (though of course she is encouraged). It is my job to model my faith, to be my faith, unequivocally and continuously. Besides, I long ago placed my children’s salvation into God’s hands. My first and deepest desire for them is that they know Jesus. I pray that my clumsy attempts at imitating Christ prove fruitful.
Outside the pizza parlor last night I ran into someone who asked what our daughter’s up to now that she graduated from college.
“She’s overseas working with a Christian group,” I told him. “We’re flying over at Christmas to visit.”
“What’s she doing, some social work?”
“No, it’s principally evangelism.”
“I don’t get that,” he said. “Why do we travel to these countries and try to convince them our western religion is better than a religion they’ve followed for thousands of years?”
“Well, if one person says ‘I believe this’ and another says ‘I believe that’ and they …”
“Yeah, yeah,” he cut me off, “to each his own, I know.”
“She’s trying to reach out to women and students and build relationships with them, and then …”
He cut me off again. “I was at a funeral for one of my mom’s friends last month where the preacher talked…
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