I remember very distinctly the times throughout Army Basic training, that I (or everyone) would get punished for seemingly insignificant details. I remember one incident in particular, where the entire platoon was down in the breezeway shining their boots. (Back when they were still black and had to be spit-shinned.) We were told specifically to always bring both set of boots down to be polished. I however, had taken it upon myself to bring only one set down because I thought that my other set was “shinned” well enough! That was a mistake I remember to this day for the consequence of disobedience was more “grievous” than the task of shinning both sets of boots.
How often are we as Christians guilty of doing “God’s will” with our own will in mind? We can do all the right tasks, say all the right things, but have our own end, or agenda in mind. Recently, I was reminded of the important task of training disciples. I was going to the classes; learning how to do it, knowing the right things to say, and all the while excusing the fact that I was not doing it! When faced with the reality that there was no one that I was personally training, I became defensive, and even angry! However, as I meditated, prayed, and sought guidance from the Lord; that chastening became motivation in finding someone to befriend.
Since being forced to look at the man in the mirror, I have taken opportunities I wouldn’t have before. Before, I was talking to many people; people at work, at church, the gas station I frequent for my morning Mountain Dew, but the truth is that I was not having an impact on them for the cause of Christ. I would speak to them about spiritual things, but after leaving the conversation and place, there was no outside relationship. Talking to people about spiritual things is good, but it is not discipleship.
I hope that you, the reader, would pray with me about being a discipler and a friend, and not just one who talks! If we have any hope for reaching the world with the gospel of Christ, we must all be training leaders, that will train leaders. Discipleship starts with being a friend. We must show ourselves friendly if we are to have disciples. People know when you are genuine, and they see when you are real. I pray that I will be transparent, and that people will know that I care for them. This is the only way we can have a Godly impact on someone for Christ’s sake. Get involved today with training men and discipling others!