Have you ever been around someone that really helped you to grow in your relationship with the Lord? I am not talking about that person whose sermons you listen to or whose books you read. I am talking about that person that when you hang out together teaches you what it means to follow Jesus. I am talking about that person whose words challenge you to think about what you believe and why you hold so dearly to it.
This week I got to spend sometime with a guy like that. That person is my brother-in-law. To give you a little history about our relationship, I have known him longer than my sister has. He and I met while we were in college together at Union University. We graduated together, have eaten tons of BBQ and Taco Bell Chalupas together and enjoyed listening to 90’s CCM songs while riding down the bypass in Jackson, TN. Our friendship spans two decades, and this week it was just like we picked where we left off last time.
The thing that I was reminded of by our time this week is how important face-to-face realtionships are for discipleship. Without other believers in your life for you to spend time with, you will not grow in Christ-likeness. Sure you can get more information from sermons, podcasts and the internet. Yet, the one thing you need in relationship.
Discipleship happens best in relationships.
Why are face-to-face relationships so important to our spiritual growth?
The answer is – that’s the way Jesus did it. Sure Jesus used other methods, which I will write about in the coming weeks. However, he primarily used one-on-one relationships to shape his disciples. It is the one-on-one conversations that stuck. His disciples may have remembered a portion of His teachings, but what he told them face-to-face they never could shake. I bet Peter never forgot, “Feed my sheep.” I bet the lame never forgot, “get up and walk.” I bet John never forgot, “behold your mother.”
There is something intimate and personal that happens when discipleship takes place one-on-one and face-to-face. So, I want to ask – do you have someone like that in your life? Do you have someone you hang out with regularly that challenges you to grow in Christ? Are you that person for someone? Discipleship is not a one-sided thing. It’s a two lane road.
I want to challenge you to find a friend like that and be a friend like that. If you don’t have a friend like that, you need some new friends. If you need help, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to grab a cup of coffee with you sometime.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17