September 4, 2008

A Decision for the Ages

Research suggests that something like 80% of Christians make a decision to follow Christ before the age of 18 and after that, the percentage drops significantly of people that decide to follow Christ. I was talking with a couple guys a day or so ago and one of them mentioned how they knew a guy that had decided to be a dentist when he was 18 and now in his 40's, has come to the conclusion that dentistry is not for him.

This led us to start talking about what the implications might be for someone who chooses to become a Christian at an early age, say sometime before they turn 18. Does the immaturity of the individual at the time of "conversion" make a difference in the significance of the decision? Or does the idea that choosing to follow Christ is more a relationship that grows and matures with the individual mean that it doesn't matter how young someone might be when they decide to follow Christ?

I think there is a difference between choosing a career-path at a young age and choosing to have a relationship with someone at a young age, especially if that relationship is with Jesus. It seems like a career "is-what-it-is" whereas a relationship is always able to change, grow, and adapt as the individuals involved change, grow and adapt to life around them but maybe I'm biased since I started my walk with Christ when I was 11.