We talked with St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright about his faith journey, how he’s living in the increase of Christ, and the mentors that have impacted his life. Here’s what he had to say.
What effect does your faith have on your lifestyle?
When I think about how my life has changed since I placed my faith in Christ, I see that things did not suddenly become easier. In fact, in some ways my faith has made life tougher because I know now that I am answering to a higher calling. I can no longer say yes to just any offer that comes my way; I can’t live recklessly anymore. But in the same way, my faith has freed me up to experience the joy and hope of Christ, which far surpasses what I had ever experienced before.
The devil is out there trying to tear down this Kingdom that the Lord has made. I know that people are watching and I want to be a witness of the love and joy of Christ in everything that I do. My faith has strengthened me tremendously. I’m now living for so much more than myself; I’m living for the Kingdom—I’m living for the King. And He is the One who guides me every step of the way.
Describe how your journey with Christ began.
Growing up, my mom brought me to church every Sunday but I didn’t fully buy into Christianity until later. When I think about where my journey with Christ began, I can’t just say that it started when I gave my life to Jesus in 2002, it started way before, with the many people God brought into my life who were planting seeds of the Gospel in me. These people really impacted my decision to pursue a relationship with Christ.
In 2002, my agent invited me to a Christian baseball conference. I didn’t want to go; in fact, the only reason I agreed to go was to prove him wrong. I wanted to prove to him that there cannot possibly be just one way to Heaven.
At that conference, I heard the speaker Joe Stowell do an excellent job of portraying God’s love. He just oozes the Holy Spirit as he speaks. As he was preaching out of the book of John, talking about the personal relationship that we can have with Jesus Christ, I remember needing to look up to make sure that it was Joe speaking and not Jesus Himself.
As I mentioned, I went to that conference to prove my agent wrong, but I left there completely bought into everything that I had been fighting against.
Who have been the mentors in your life? How did God bring these people into your life?
I would have to start with my mom, who worked multiple jobs while I was growing up. She raised me right, always making sure that I was going to church and using my manners. My brother Trey took on the role of a father figure for me, being a guiding light for me in many times of uncertainty. I knew that I could always look to him to steer me in the right direction.
My agent Steve Hammond and my financial advisor Don Christensen have both been extremely influential for me in my growth as a Christian, a father, and a husband.
What does the Increase of Christ mean to you?
I love the verse John 3:30 which says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This is the life that Jesus modelled and He did it perfectly.
Before I was a believer, I thought it was all about me, but once I gave my life to Christ it suddenly became all about Him. It’s been remarkable to experience the amazing joy and peace that Christ has given me since then. It truly is greater to give than to receive; we have no better model of that than Jesus Christ—He gave it all.
What is your life verse? Why?
For a long time I heard people talk about their life verse, and though there have been a lot of verses that I love to go back to, I didn’t know what mine was. One day as I was reading the Bible with my wife I stopped and said, “Jenny, I think this is my verse!” Acts 20:24 says, “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
That is exactly how I feel and what I want my life to exemplify.
Adam Wainwright is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Adam’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/adamwainwright/
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