We must always try to be like our Lord Jesus.
We are to lead a life of repentance and love for one another. When we come to a place where we believe we have attained perfection on earth, we sin by being prideful. I’ve been disappointed in men of God preaching the Gospel. I’ve been disappointed by fellow Christians, but I’ve learned to keep my focus on Jesus. I can only control me. I cannot control what others do or say.
Maybe that’s why making disciples is the most difficult assignment we have. The process of truly making disciples takes a long time – walking with people day by day. Sunday church services and Bible School are powerful for communicating information, but discipleship happens on a personal level. As we disciple, we have to watch out that we don’t teach from a slanted point of view. We should not disciple people to look like us, but to look like Jesus. It’s pivotal that we invite the Holy Spirit into our times and moments with others – to lead and disciple through His lens rather than our own.
I’ve seen examples where “discipleship” can turn into religion. There is a fine line between religion and relationships. Religion takes us away from relationship with “dos and don’ts”. We need to watch out that we don’t become like the Sadducees and Pharisees and come in opposition to what Jesus is doing. I’ve always been wary of those who turn the New Testament into “New Testament Law”. Again, I don’t give people license to sin, but when somebody has missed it and fallen into sin – even me – I know I have a Father who through the blood of Jesus has forgiven me.
If we as the church don’t make our lives and relationships a haven where people can make mistakes, we only succeed in driving people away. Even Jesus was called a “glutton” and a “drunkard” by those who didn’t truly know Him. Would there be a place for Him in our church today? Grace is “come as you are.” Grace is also working to be like Jesus. We will make mistakes along the way and my hope is that we can grow together – without the fear of being rejected by fellow Christians.
It may be easier for you to do the right thing in some areas because you are stronger than I – but then it is your duty to come alongside me in love and guide me in the correct way. Religion beats a person like a bad dog – and maybe that’s why the church is on the back foot in making disciples and why people prefer the anonymity of Sunday attendance and nothing more.
Let’s try to love and disciple like Jesus does with us – outdoing one another in showing honor – and operating in the grace that we have mercifully been shown ourselves.