Ross: Things I learned About Christ Through the Chronicle

TJ Ross (Courtesy TJ Ross)

TJ Ross (Courtesy TJ Ross)

By TJ Ross, News Writer


Not very many people start working for their college newspaper in their last college semester, but that’s what I did when I started as a contributor for the news desk at the Daily Utah Chronicle.

I came to the Chronicle knowing I wouldn’t be pursuing a career in journalism but still felt accepted even though I had different passions. As a former athlete at the U, I remember being asked in my interview, “What are you passionate about writing about?” I responded, “I want to write about the lacrosse team. Maybe basketball?” The interviewer said, “I’m not sure if you know this, but you’re interviewing for the news desk, so you can’t write about sports.”

The news desk seemed intimidating because I’ve had a rocky relationship with the news, and I am the first to admit I needed to do better to stay updated on local and national news. I thoroughly follow the things I’m passionate about, but it was still hard for me to trust the news overall.

I was afraid if I joined the news desk, I would be attacked by the people I interviewed for a difference of opinions and critiqued for my writing. But the Chronicle encouraged me to write about my interests and follow my passions — as long as they were news-related.

Going into my senior year, I was set on going to law school after an advisor pointed me in that direction because I can be a passionate and effective debater.

But over my time at the Chronicle, I grew a ton spiritually. I took this position to learn more about the world before deciding on law school and seminary education. I learned a few things about Christ through this experience that pointed me to a seminary education over law school: His love abounds, I get to give grace because I’ve been given grace and His kingdom is everywhere.

His Love Abounds

Psalm 103:8 says God is abounding with love. I struggled with this for a long time, and the Chronicle put me in situations to see His abounding love. My crowd talked like me, acted like me and shared the same hobbies as me. When I started interviewing atmospheric science professors, business starters, engineers, law enforcement officials and more I saw abounding love in every person on campus. I saw God’s love for the things they love. He promotes our individuality and fuels that love with the abounding love He pours out.

I Get to Give Grace Because I’ve Been Given Grace

Something I wasn’t ready for was the rejection that comes with journalism. I had countless times where I set up an interview and was ghosted or when an interviewee had a fiery passion for something I disagreed with and left me angry. After conducting over 30 interviews at the Chronicle, I learned how to give grace because I was given grace. We all have our flaws, and God never forsakes us. I learned real-world skills on loving others, the kind of grace that changes lives and people gave me grace more times than I can count in return.

His Kingdom is Everywhere

Being a Christian in Utah is a unique position. It can feel lonely, and it seems like the whole state is against you because of everything from what feels like false doctrine from the dominant religion in the state to atheists’ beliefs. But I got to see His kingdom at every turn. I would interview a professor and find an unwavering faith that they so openly shared when it was not an intended topic of conversation. I met strength coaches who picked this career to influence young people who witness their faith. I met doctors who believed in the gospels because of the medical evidence shared with them. I thought the Utah community of Christian believers was weak, but my time at the Chronicle has shown that His love, grace and kingdom are abound. 


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