My Best Friend Needed God
I punched Rick. He punched me. We ended up in detention together. As we walked out of detention, we got to talking about how stupid our fight had been. Before we knew it, we were best friends. After that, we only fought for fun, like when we watched pro wrestling together. That was way back in fifth grade.
Then something happened in middle school that totally turned my life around. A guy from school named Dave kept bugging me to come to his church youth group. For three months, he nagged me and nagged me. I finally said, "Dave, I'll go once, if it will shut you up!"
To make a long story short, I went, met a lot of cool people there, went back again and again, and I soon ended up asking Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. God totally changed my life, too. I know it sounds weird, but life suddenly seemed like an exciting adventure.
The bad thing was, Rick didn't feel the same way about God as I did. That really bothered me. After all, he was my best friend in the whole world. I wanted him to go to heaven and I wanted to spend eternity with him. And I wanted him to find out how cool life could be with Jesus Christ at the center of it.
One night during the summer before eighth grade, we camped out in his back yard. As we stared upward at the star–dotted darkness, Rick started asking me a lot of questions about religion. Soon I was telling him about everything I knew at the time. No big theological insights. I just knew the basics: Without God, we're sinners bound for hell. With Christ, we're saved and that means heaven. Most of all, I told him how Jesus had changed my life.
"I don't know too much, dude," I remember saying. "But I do know that without Jesus we're lost. Just try it, just try asking God to change your life. If it doesn't work, forget it. But at least try it."
He told me that what I'd said seemed to make sense and that he'd like to give God a try. So I asked him to repeat a prayer: "God, I know I'm a sinner. Please change my life for the better. Take away my sin. I want to give my life to you."
God did change Rick's life that night. Now he's one of the strongest Christians I know. He's even shared Jesus with his mom and now she's a Christian.
It's really cool to think about how sharing God works. Dave invited me to youth group and I became a Christian. I then told Rick about God and he became a Christian, and then Rick talked to his mom and she became a Christian. Who knows how God will use Rick's mom to lead others to Jesus. It's like this cool ripple in a pool that keeps going and going and going.
Witnessing gets me excited, but I know I need to be careful. I can't measure success by how many people pray after I talk to them. When I get that kind of attitude, my youth pastor tells me to lighten up. He says to leave the results to God. That makes sense. God is the one who changes hearts, not me. I just need to share my beliefs with the right attitude and then let God do what he wants to do.
Sometimes people wonder why I'm so into letting others know about my faith. I like to tell them something like this: