Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Called to be Different – LaMorris Crawford

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” —Matthew 7:13-14

We aren’t called to fit it. In this passage Jesus is basically saying that if we’re going where everyone else is going, that’s a RED FLAG! Many enter in through the gate that leads to destruction, but only few find the road that leads to life. You need to choose your company wisely. We are to be part of the few. There should be something about us that’s apparently different. We can’t just tag along with the rest of the world.

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” —Proverbs 13:20

In 1 Peter 2, the Apostle Paul calls us as Believers, “foreigners and exiles” in this world. We’re to be set apart and completely uncharacteristic from those of this world so that people take notice and ask what we’re all about. How else will we be able to win people for Christ? If we’re no different when we claim to have Christ in us, what good is the new life we’ve been given through His work on the cross?

This is not our home. If you confess to be a Christian, let your life reflect that of Christ’s. If you have a relationship with Christ, do not let your lifestyle be up for question. The Gospel is preached through relationship. Just as Jesus went among the people teaching, eating, and doing life with others in order to share the hope of salvation with them, so we are to show God’s love to others by the way we love them. People want to see Jesus in our lives—this is the greatest way to influence others for the Gospel. Jesus first lived, then He preached.

How we live and who we surround ourselves with is our choice. If we seek others who seek Christ, we will find them. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) Have a Christlike expectant faith and seek God. You don’t have to settle for the world. We’re not called to seek out the world and it’s things, but to win them for Christ.

There are people all around you at all times who don’t know the power of Christ’s salvation—when you go out to eat, where you pump your gas, at walmart, your kids’ coaches, your neighbors, etc… The harvest is plentiful! The opportunities for evangelism are endless. Surround yourselves with Christian brothers and sisters to build you up and then go out. Preach the Word. There’s no excuse not to answer the call God has for your life.

You go to church to be equipped to be an influence in the world. Church is pregame for the rest of the week. You’re just getting warmed up and ready. Game time is coming. Now Go!

—LaMorris Crawford, Chaplain of the Cincinnati Bengals

The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit for more stories and videos.