Why did you become a Christian (if you did)?

Do you ever have the kind of thought that stops you in your track? I did last night as I was preparing dinner.

For whatever reason I was thinking about the year my daughter took Horticulture when she was in Junior High. She was all about horticulture. We planted things, tended them, and then planted more. She and I did some landscaping around the house. Almost every day she came home talking about what her horticulture teacher had done or said that day.

Which reminded me of my Senior English teacher. I was in north Houston in 1994, about 13 years after I had graduated, and decided to stop by and check on her at the school she was then teaching at. I sat in the school’s office and waited for her to come down – as did another of her former students who was between 5 and 10 years older than I. Before she got there, another former student, from the late 80’s, stopped by to check in with her.

Do you have teachers like that? I remember my American History teacher from my freshman year of high school. I called him a couple of years ago to get the source for a week’s worth of lessons we had done. If you, like my daughter and I, have been blessed with teachers who are passionate about 1) their subject matter, and 2) making you love it as much as they do, you know what I mean.

I think people’s lives are changed by such passionate teachers. I think careers are chosen based on the direction such teachers take us. Passion is infectious.

Now, back to the subject line: Why did you become a Christian? I know: the answer is supposed to be because you wanted to go to heaven, or were afraid of going to hell, or fell in love with Jesus, or something “spiritual” like that.

I can’t help but think, in light of these thoughts from last night, that a big part of my becoming Christian, of my choosing to follow Jesus, was that I saw the same decision being lived out passionately and credibly by people who meant something to me.

Plenty of people make that decision because of the persuasive abilities of a preacher or teacher. I suspect, though, that the ones for whom such decisions “stick,” though, are the ones who are not set adrift with a personal copy of the Bible after such a decision, but the ones who have someone credible and passionate to follow after.

So, who was that person, or who were those people for you? (Maybe now would be a good time to let them know, if you haven’t already).

And here’s the clincher: Who are those people for whom YOU are the passionate and credible follower of Jesus?

6 thoughts on “Why did you become a Christian (if you did)?

  1. I don’t know whether to be encouraged or depressed. Last year I had a class of high-school dual-credit students for whom at least SOME of them I was their favorite teacher. This year I feel like a constant grouch because this class seems 3/4 disengaged.

    However, your post did remind me of a couple teachers. Rebecca Salinger, my 9th grade English teacher that first introduced me to the thought of going to Southwestern. She was young and had recently graduated from S.U. herself (and yes, she was/is the niece of J. D. Salinger).

    And Bill Hardt, my 9th grade American History teacher. He was also inspirational, and years later, I found out he was also an S.U. grad. I think he was a Pike, but he could’ve been a Phi Delt.

    And then there’s Doug. You JAG fans know John Jackson, who was Admiral Chegwidden …. he was Doug’s high school government teacher. Doug remembers Mr. Jackson spontaneously allowing them to have a trial over some issue or other … of course Doug got to be the judge!

  2. well…personally, I dont identify as “christian” per se. I have several atheist friends, and I usually just call myself a christ follower. “Christian” has a stigma.

    My deciding to follow jesus actually happened almost in reverse, but the people who I credit as my passionate leaders:
    Tammy Aubushon
    Brian Sutton
    and you.

    So, thanks steve. you’ve helped me more than you know I’m sure.

  3. Richard – I like the imagery (even the reality!) of God grabbing a hold of you. Were there any particular people involved in that, either the event or immediately following, whose passion and credibility strengthened and encouraged your resolve?

  4. Sure there were people involved: Art & Betty Wilson, Chris & Jerri Carlson, Frank & Joanie Marine – the adults who worked with our youth group and brought us along for the ride as God was grabbing a hold of them.

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