It's Okay For Mommy to go Potty By Herself: and other things I'm surprised to hear myself say aloud
Missing My Daughter's Piano Lessons (thoughts on inadequacy)
If You Don't Want Messes, Don't Have Children
And definitely don't try discipleship.
Did you know that trying to disciple someone into a mini-me is a really destructive idea? I am learning this always the hard way with my children, with others. I am flawed, I am frail; Christ is not. It's people we're talking about, souls, and it's just not that clean and neat. I want results, He wants surrender. I want tidy, clean, neat. He isn't afraid to break the clay and start over again.
Before and After.
Then and Now.
Mess to Success.
This is a fine and preferred approach when conquering inanimate objects: The dishes, my fourteen hundred laundry piles, a disaster zone, a 30k income property. It is about me and my work ethic, what I want in return for my time, return on investment and ultimately making my life easier.
Result oriented, pressure driven, watch me and copy me spiritual discipling breaks down when working with people in the real world.
If we don't see quick results, then there's assumed failure, leading to blame: is it my failure or yours?
If we pressure behavior change without caring about motives, we will see a wide spectrum of response: people pleasing (which will last while you are visible to please or while your mentee wants to please you), frustration (because behavior modification never solved the root of any problem), or sheer refusal to cooperate.
And copy and paste me discipleship is one of the most disillusioning styles because we all are human, prone to wander and quick to stumble; it's only a matter of time before a protege sees the flaws of an instructor.
When I'm reaching for the heart and not results, my questions and expectations change.
How can I serve you now?
How can we equip you to use your gifts?
What are your gifts?
What is your fear right now?
What does God want you to do?
Yes, I have time for you. . .
What's keeping you from following now?
And don't follow me, don't copy me. Oh no, me with the quick tongue and regretted words and passionate debater, me with the endless string of failures and frustrating inadequacies.
Follow Him, perfect, wise, sacrificial example of perfect love, humble, servant, compassionate, healer, friend, justice personified. It's hard to fail copying that stuff.
Thoughts I'm loving on discipleship and loving people:
"Keep your eyes on Jesus, Who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how He did it.
Because He never lost sight of where He was headed. . ."
Hebrews 12:2 the Message
"It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision."
[wildly paraphrasing Tim Keller from his message "A Tale of Two Cities"]
good art is creating a culture that encourages life
One of the stunning lessons of the Bible is God's free use of fragile human beings
to accomplish His purpose.
Brennan Manning, The Signature of Jesus
The church must pursue reconciliation as well. . . .[but] we are not the reconciler; Jesus is.
Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert, When Helping Hurts
"You can measure the character of a man by the size of the things that make him angry."
Dr. Lynn Anderson, They Smell Like Sheep
[on positive reinforcement]
Make it meaningful.
Make it timely: catch 'em in the act.
Keep it free of criticism.
Mark Murphy, Hundred Percenters