QUESTION #4: Clearly there is a definite problem in our culture today where there is barely a distinction between a non-believer, and one who says they’re ‘born-again’. What are some of the solutions you suggest?
“Obviously, this is a complex problem and it’s going to take some fairly complex solutions and multi-part solutions. But I think there are some things that each of us could do that would help us no matter where we are on that spiritual continuum to try to figure out how can we get closer to Christ, how can we become more Christ-like.
One of the things that I’ve found many people say is helpful in their life is that they continually re-declare or resubmit their commitment to Christ and to the bible and to a life lived for God. We do the things that we tell ourselves are important. So it’s important, I think, that we include in there who we are in Christ, what is our identity in Christ and what does that mean.
I’d say also that therefore it’s going to be important for us that continually clarify God’s purpose for our life, understanding not what we want but what He wants for us, why He gave us life, and how we’re going to use it to fulfill that expectation of his, how it is that we think we’re going to be able to live forever with him in heaven, what is our salvation based on, and what are the core principles by which we’re going to live our life. One thing I’ve discovered in doing the research is that a lot of people have a period in their life, or maybe you’d call it a season, where they address some of these issues, but then they never go back to them. They just figure well I’ve already dealt with that, I’m just going to move on now. And the farther we get from those declarations, the less likely they are to be significant in our mind and heart.
In addition to those things, I’d say it’s probably important that each of us think through how do we measure how we are doing. This isn’t about other people, let’s look at ourselves. Let’s try to figure out how do I know if I’m becoming the person that Christ made me to be, that God wants me to be. The person that God can use for the greatest benefit for His kingdom and his purposes. We’ve have to have some type of metrics or measurement criteria that will help us to continually gauge how well we’re doing. Otherwise, it’s just based on emotion and over the course of time, we’re going to feel pretty good about ourselves, regardless of what we’re doing.
And then finally, I’d say it might also be imperative for us to look at what legacy are we going to leave behind and I’ll say that our research is very clear in noting that if you want to influence the world, if you want to leave a positive impact on this planet, the best thing you can do is invest in the lives of children under the age of 13. Because those are the ones whose lives are open to change, they’re open to ideas and modeling and conversation and all kinds of things. But it’s before the age of 13 that a person’s worldview is essentially developed for the rest of their life. So, if you want to impact the world and have a lasting imprint on history, that’s where to put your resources, in the lives of children.”