My daughter, Elizabeth, just learned to ride her bike. To teach her, I gave her an instruction manual and told her to come get me after she learned to ride on her own. Now wait, before you give me the Worst-Father-Of-The-Year Award, I have to say this is not true at all. But imagine if it were; would any kid learn to ride a bike by reading a book? Maybe there are a few, but I’m guessing the answer is no, not many.
Isn’t that what we sometimes do with discipleship and teaching people how to follow Jesus?
“Just read this book and you’ll be a better follower.”
“Just pray more.”
“Just go to church more.”
“Just stop it!”
While these are all good things, often times we learn from what we experience. With my help, my daughter had to experience riding her bike to master it. People often help guide, challenge and encourage us as we grow to do more things. As you have grown in your faith, can you think of people who have helped you along the way? Maybe it’s been your parents, your pastor, your DCE, a friend or your teacher.
“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
Life is full of relationships. Our God is a relational God. As a Trinitarian God (three persons in one), He knew relationship before the world was created. He created us for relationship. He sent Jesus into our world to restore a broken relationship between Him and His creation and He is coming back one day to complete that relationship.
Do you have relationships with people in your life who share the good news AND their lives with you? As a disciple of Jesus, I encourage you to find a mentor who will challenge you to grow. Someone who can answer your tough questions, someone who will teach you, someone who can give you grace when you mess up, someone who will know you for who you really are and someone who will share their life with you.
Why? Because it’s worth it, and besides, doing life together is way more fun than learning to riding a bike.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for relationships. You loved me so much that You sent Jesus to die for me. You loved me so much You sent the Spirit to live in me. Help me to grow closer to everyday through the relationships around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Published August 2013