What do a mammoth, a sloth and a tiger have in common? In reality nothing! But in the movie Ice Age (1), we are introduced to these three animals who share the common goal of having to return a human child to its parents. The mammoth despises the sloth, the sloth fears the tiger, and the tiger wants to eat them both. Even though they make the unlikeliest of travelling companions, by the end of the movie they are a herd.
What is it that made these three unlikely animal characters become a herd? In a word – time. As they travelled with each other and got to know each other, their hearts started to connect and they started to see past their differences, even their prejudices.
Our Christian walk is much the same. For starters, every single one of us (even the unbeliever) shares a common goal – we are all travelling towards eternity (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). For Christians, it will be an eternity in heaven (John 14:6). For unbelievers, not. But the truth is that we all share this common journey of travelling towards eternity.
And as we all know, as we travel this common journey called life, there are those people that we like and those people that we dislike. But as true as it is for the Ice Age characters, so it is for us too – the longer that we journey with others, the more and more we start to connect with them, start to like them, start to love them. And when love prevails, it covers over a multitude of offences (see 1 Peter 4:8).
This is why relational discipleship is so important. God needs you to be prepared to journey with other people. He may even allow “difficult” people to be a part of that journey. He may never intend for it to be short term. And it may even be that He wants something to change in YOU.
Are you ready to be used by God? Are you ready to take a long term view of your discipleship relationships? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say
Unless otherwise noted, all references are from the New International Version.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Well not really!! But this was what the bumper sticker said on the back of a very small bakkie (utility vehicle). I got to thinking of growing up this morning whilst jogging. When I was at school in my senior years, I used to win all the athletic track events from the 200m to the 3000m. Even after school, I delivered newspapers for a living and could run a route faster than the others could drive it on their bikes. I loved to run.
Well, I just started jogging/running again for the first time after 15 years. What happened you might ask? I grew up; I started working, went to gym to bulk up, wooed my wife. All of these took time away, and it wasn’t long before running was the lowest priority on my ‘to do’ list. There were other ‘more important’ things taking my time up. Growing up had altered my life.
This is true of our Christian walk too. God does not want us to remain in our ‘childish’ state only able to consume milk. He is wanting us to mature and to grow up so that we can consume spiritual meat (see Hebrews 5:13-14). In fact He needs us to grow up. Why? Because as people enter the kingdom, they are like babies needing to consume spiritual milk. But if there are no ‘grown up’ Christians to help them, they themselves will never grow up (see Philippians 3:17).
But what does a ‘grown up’ Christian look like?
I shared yesterday what the greatest lesson was that I learnt whilst doing network marketing; if you have to say that you are then you aren’t. Well today I share with you the other lesson that I learnt and that is that network marketing is modelled upon Christianity. Now of course I’m not talking about the negative aspects of network marketing (like greed, covetousness, etc). But if you take a moment and think about it, there are many similarities between network marketing and Christianity. Let me elaborate with a few points.
Christianity is about connecting with people and sharing with them the Good News, and encouraging them to tell others about it (see 2 Timothy 2:2). This is done primarily through word of mouth and preferably through relationship (see John 1:41). Network marketing follows the same principle of word of mouth marketing, believing too that their product and method of making money, is good news. Read the rest of this entry