Sometimes relationships go sour. Sometimes discipleship hurts. Sometimes those we invest our lives into bail on life and our efforts seem bankrupt. What do I do when I pour my life into someone and there are empty returns? What do I do when I am left speechless on the other end of and unanswered call? Or your cries are unheard or ignored? Here are some good thoughts to remember:
Discipleship is intentional. When I invest in someone’s life I want him or her to know that I am. I intentionally let them know that I want to spend quality time encouraging their relationship with God not because I have it all together, rather together we can begin sharpening iron. Echo the voices of Jesus and Paul, “follow me.” [Matthew 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 10:38; 16:24; 19:21; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Timothy 1:13]
Discipleship is eternal. I am intentional about discipleship because I feel the weight of my responsibility before God: to reproduce my vertical relationship with others horizontally [John 15:16ff]. I am responsible for the spiritual growth of our teens. That is a heavy burden to bear, but God brings the fruit. My relationships matter to God. My relationships have eternal ramifications. That is huge.
Discipleship is generational. My relationship does not end with someone after a year or 12-class study. They last a lifetime [Matthew 28:19-20]. From one generation to another I must be willing to disciple and be discipled.
Discipleship is personal. When relationship end or the parking brake seems stuck that can be frustrating. Relationships do not come with 90-day money back guarantee. We might get burned and bruised. If you have some one you are investing in that does not want to be around you: give them over to God, keep tabs on them and don’t close the door on them ever. Chose another to invest in and press on. May our motto be, “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.” [2 Corinthians 12:15]