This verse came to mind today as I was thinking some things through. At my church, the main idea is about being a disciple, which they define as someone who hears from God and does what he says. And I would agree with that definition, but it is so much more, too. Being a disciple is someone who emulates Christ and that means that we should become more and more like him. It’s not just about hearing from him, it’s about him becoming so much a part of who you are that you can’t determine where you end and he begins. But I digress…
One way we can hear from God is by putting godly people in our lives who challenge us, people who make us think, people who don’t agree with everything we say, people who are not simply “yes” men.
I avoid confrontation as much as possible. I hate it. But I need people in my life who can get past that and can help me to see the mistakes I have made or am making. I can be blind to my own faults. In fact, most of us are blind to our character flaws. We need people around us who will challenge us, our ideas, our beliefs… Not always so that we will change (although sometimes we will need to make changes), but so that the most important things are cemented into our core. So that we can defend who we are and what we believe. God uses people to help guide us in the right direction.
It’s sad to me that there are people, whom we love, whom we care deeply for, but we’ve been shut out of their circle because they choose to believe we mean them harm, because they choose to take our advice as negative criticism. I know that it breaks my heart and it breaks my husband’s heart to be cast aside when we just want to see these people thrive. We want the best for them.
I am not saying that I have all the answers for these people, and neither would my husband. The Lord knows that we’ve both shifted our views on things through the years, we’ve solidified some beliefs so that they are strong and defensible, and some things, we’ve had to let go of because they didn’t measure up to the Word of the Lord. We know that if we are to learn, if we are to mature as true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to be open to the possibility that we could be wrong. But at the same time, we do have some wisdom that the Lord has granted to us.
It’s also sad when people ask for truthfulness, but then are angry or disappointed when you give it to them. Don’t ask for someone to assess you and/or your ideas, positive or otherwise, unless you can take it like an adult. BUT know that if you aren’t seeking for honesty from those around you, that you should question your spiritual maturity. How can we grow if we surround ourselves with people that will say “yes” to anything we ask? How can we mature as a disciple if there is no one who will challenge us on the sin in our lives? How can we learn if no one will speak up? It’s hard when you really think you can help or that you have something useful to contribute to someone’s life, but you can’t express it for fear that that person will think you are trying to undermine them or something…
I can say that I don’t ask for honesty enough. This may be one of the reasons that I have been so unmotivated for the past several months. There is no one challenging me about what I do. No one to ask where I’m headed. This is my fault and I know I should rectify it. As a highly introverted person, I enjoy being by myself and I have issues with keeping up relationships with friends. I don’t let people in like I should, but it’s time for me to take a step towards change. How about you?