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By Grant Everly
This past Sunday at iMPACT we talked about looking for God to find our affirmation, and in so doing, a dismaying thought that I’d had running through my head for the past few weeks was affirmed.
Recently I’d been thinking a lot about the difficulties involved with sharing the gospel in America. We live in a society that certainly doesn’t lack exposure to Christ; nearly everyone you’ll ever come in to contact with is at least familiar with the name Jesus, although often people lack in an in-depth understanding of who He is.
Additionally, aside from a general familiarity with Christ, many are also acquainted with the Bible’s story of salvation; however, what I’ve been finding is that the central component in the Gospel of Christ, the area that makes us forever grateful to our Creator, is something quite easily avoidable in America. That area is our need for salvation.
In the United States especially, our own moral hubris is our greatest downfall and presents the greatest obstacle to spreading the good news about Christ. We think we’re really great, really self-sufficient people.
I mean sure, we may mess up here and there, but we’re not bad people for it — right? We like to think we’re pretty substantial on a moral level, but the truth is we’re inadequate to care well for ourselves, and we’re selfish. What’s more is that when this truth begins to hit us in the face we have a plethora of avenues down which we can turn to affirm our value as people. We can turn to wealth, relationships, our occupation, family, worldly success, etc. The truth is that we are lost people — like sheep without a shepherd, we go wayward and wander into places that are downright dangerous. But we’re phenomenal at distracting ourselves from our need for shepherd and from our shortcomings; we’re people who sin, who are really good at avoiding the reality of ourselves.
So on Sunday night as we talked about allowing our value to be determined by our Creator, I couldn’t help but think about how most of our society, Christians included, tries so hard to avoid the fact that we’re people who are in need of the Shepherd. As Christians, we ought to go to the determiner of reality, God; seeking Him for His opinions about us will be far more sustainably uplifting when compared to the short-lived façade we too often try to build around ourselves.
When we choose to acknowledge our brokenness at the feet of the One who made us, we can begin to become whole. When we acknowledge where we fall short, God begins to help us up.
So as we move forth let’s try to be defined by the One who made us, and pray that those around us who don’t know the freedom found in Christ would grow to do likewise.
Grant Everly is a senior at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.