A good friend

‘When’s your lunch hour?’

What an obscure, mildly confrontational, knowing phrase… I was on the floor pulling my lunch out of the bottom of my backpack. My friend was challenging me on something I’d said a week ago. I’d told him I was going to be eating my lunches after 1.30 – in response to something personal God’s been teaching me about discipline. It was 12:05… This question, seemingly unspiritual, was discipleship!

1) Discipleship is confrontational! We are confronting the parts of the other person which don’t look like Christ. In my case it was the part of me that follows the rumblings of an empty stomach. This can be difficult both for the confronted and the confront-er, but Jesus didn’t promise following him would be comfortable.

2) Discipleship happens two-ways! That comment was followed by an almost four hour conversation in which we both challenged and “sharpened” each other. We are both people in whom Jesus is at work, and we are both people who carry the baggage of our unresolved brokenness, sin and squirming-crucified flesh with us. 

3) Discipleship requires a response! After some feeble attempts to justify why I was eating my lunch early. I started packing it back in my bag. The response is hard! But is made easier by the Church, and those within her. In our battle against our sinful selves, in our race for the prize which endures forever and in our farming for a harvest we are not alone. God has put us in communities of faith to encourage us and keep us going. In your journey of faith, in your efforts to become Christ-like, in your longing for regular times with God – lean on the Body of Christ (His people) let them help you in your response! 

4) Discipleship glorifies God! After I had swallowed the pill of patience and stowed my lunch away for a couple of hours. I thanked my friend for being direct with me. And he pointed to God, to Him be the glory. We rely on Him for the courage to confront, the humility to be sharpened by someone else, the provision of Church to aid us in our response.  And then we glorify Him for His hand in our transformation towards Christ likeness.

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