Now I know that Jesus was God in flesh so it's a pretty high bar we've been set, but we've also been promised all of heaven to support us and the incredible Holy Spirit within us. But of course it is difficult, and grace is needed as we try and fail, and make mistakes, and get things wrong. Building a culture of grace, where people are allowed to make mistakes is so important.
But here's the thing: Discipleship is a Team Sport. It can't really be done individually. Yes we all stand alone before God responsible for our own lives. It is not other people who 'save us' but only faith in Jesus. But spiritual growth is a community thing. I can be very holy on my own. In fact, I'm pretty patient and loving on my own. I get on with everyone when I'm alone, don't you?! But, rather like Jude Law at the end of 'Alfie' - "you've seen through my veneer!" You can see my failings can't you? What good is it to claim you're patient and loving when there is no-one to love, when there is no-one who tests your patience. What is my love if it doesn't survive being thrown back in my face, rejected, left hanging? So discipleship is a team sport. Christian faith is practised in community, in relationship. That is both the blessing and the challenge. We have to re-frame our picture of the Christian life and move from a lone follower carrying a cross, to a group of people following Jesus together. Jesus discipled people in community. We need to recapture a very high value on community.
|George Ford - only 5'10"|
|Jesus trained people in community.|
We can only do so much on our own - and if we really want to grow in faith we have to get serious about community - real community that goes deep. Can I encourage you to not settle for the mediocre Christian life and invest in deep community? Go for it. You're needed.