Thursday, 19 January 2012

Influencing a Younger Christian

What influence are you having on younger Christians? The influence we have on those who are our younger brothers and sisters in Christ is not neutral. Either we are encouraging them to grow in loving Jesus all the more deeply, or we are encouraging them to increasingly love other things. It is therefore vitally important that we think through what kind of influence we are having.

Don Carson points out one important aspect of being godly influence on a younger Christian. He says:
If I have learned anything in 35 or 40 years of teaching, it is that students don’t learn everything I teach them. What they learn is what I am excited about, the kinds of things I emphasize again and again and again and again. That had better be the gospel.

If the gospel—even when you are orthodox—becomes something which you primarily assume, but what you are excited about is what you are doing in some sort of social reconstruction, you will be teaching the people that you influence that the gospel really isn’t all that important. You won’t be saying that—you won’t even mean that—but that’s what you will be teaching. And then you are only half a generation away from losing the gospel.

Make sure that in your own practice and excitement, what you talk about, what you think about, what you pray over, what you exude confidence over, joy over, what you are enthusiastic about is Jesus, the gospel, the cross. And out of that framework, by all means, let the transformed life flow.