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Following on from Nick’s post Safety in Labelling I started to write a comment & realised it was getting a bit long to be a comment. No surprise there then…

So I thought I’d put it all in a post about discipleship. There’s way more to discipleship, but this kind of relates to Nick’s post.

Nick’s post seemed really clear to me, I hope it inspires people to become disciples.

Yep, I like the word disciple, or apprentice. Words that mean what they say. It seems to me that labels used to attack or defend religious stuff are often to do with beliefs rather than actions or character. It may then be decided that someone who believes something different must be fundamentally bad!

It is important in life to believe correctly but it’s only going to happen if we learn from the right person. Jesus, as well as being God is the genius of a teacher on the things that really matter. It seems that lots of things that are argued about often come down to what a favourite author or pastor says. This kind of sidelines Jesus a bit I think. Not that we can’t learn from other people, we can & should. But when we rely on people above Jesus, the worst kind of arguments are almost inevitable. These arguments, I think, almost have the feel of ‘God must be on my side because I’m right’. Not a disciple’s attitude.

Deciding to be a disciple of Jesus sorts out most of this stuff because it involves learning to DO what He said & did. It’s harder to get proud because chances are I’ll fail a bit. Although the Spirit is pleased to help me when I step out to obey, I’m not always great at remembering the partnership & I sometimes try to obey from my own strength. God still teaches me simply by allowing me to try it on my own. Then if I’m sincere I’ll come back & learn that I need to step out again, but in awareness of God. And when I succeed I know God gets the credit because I couldn’t have done it on my own.

Although the ‘doing’ bit is maybe the most important, we do need to know truth in order to have something to obey. Trouble is we have a tendency to stop when we think we have some & just feel superior about what we know.

What goes a long way to stopping me personally from only collecting truths is the statement that the point of truth is that it enables me to effectively deal with reality – D Willard. I’m sure I’ve quoted that before, but I like it so much because it puts the focus on what I’m going to use the truth for. It effectively, if sometimes painfully tests the ‘truth’ I’ve learned & proves if it’s really true. And if it is, then maybe people will actually see it working & I won’t want to argue/pressure/bully them into seeing it, just explain when they ask.

Just some thoughts from another disciple.