Did you ever see the movie? Here they’re handling the nerve gas… don’t let a single ball hit the floor… it’ll melt your face off and cause horrible death and destruction.
It reminds me of how discipleship goes sometimes…
Sobremesa (after-meal, table-talk) promotes transparency. Pretty much everyone enjoys food and after-meal chatter. But the crowd thins when things start sounding like real discipleship. Much like how…
We smile when we meditate on Jesus’ invitation to eat with him:
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20, ESV)
We cringe when we meditate on Jesus’ call to follow him:
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33, ESV)
Discipleship isn’t for everyone. Discipleship isn’t easy because it requires humility. Humility isn’t easy because it requires transparency.
The need for transparency is a big part of why so few want to pay the price to become real disciples… It’s also the reason there are too many mentors who shouldn’t be mentoring—at least not yet—and not enough for-real mentors.
Humility and transparency are harder for people in positions of authority. They have an image to maintain. They think if people really knew who they were, they might be asked to step down. That isn’t necessarily how it should be, but that’s often how it is.
Humility and transparency are hard for people because… well…we’re all people. We don’t communicate perfectly… serve others purely… react exactly like Jesus would… nor stop with the “gotcha” mentality… you know… when your juicy little secret feeds my evil inner child who thrives on feeling one up on you.
There are all kinds of reasons why discipleship can explode in our faces. It can be painful… with lots of collateral damage. So why do we bother?
There are a few basic things real disciple-makers keep in mind.
We’re dead already, so what’s the big deal?
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20, ESV)
We can’t predict outcomes, so why do we have to own every mess as a personal failure?
We know how delightful one “Timothy” can be. So much so, it’s worth whatever we risk to find one. Nothing compares…!
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy. (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, ESV)
We’re supposed to be somebody’s Paul. So where’s our Timothy?
Here’s a link to our new “Spotlight on Compassion” page. The first installment is about vulnerable children whose lives are warped by violence and death.