the weblog of Alan Knox

Unintentionally helping each other follow Jesus

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in discipleship | 6 comments

Unintentionally helping each other follow Jesus

As I explained in a previous post, I have started “defining discipleship as helping each other follow Jesus.” There are several aspects to this definition (which I described briefly in that previous post), and I think that each of the aspects is extremely important. In fact, when we lose one of those aspects, then we are less effective at discipling one another, and we hinder the growth (maturity) of the church. For example, I said that it’s important for us to “help each other follow Jesus even when he’s leading us in different directions.” Then, my readers (you) answered this question: “How has someone helped you follow Jesus?

I believe the most important way that we can help each other follow Jesus is by example. Now, please don’t misunderstand this. I don’t mean that we help people by going around trying to be an example. Instead, I mean that as we follow Jesus ourselves, our lives will be examples to those who know us and who observe our lives.

In this way, by following Jesus ourselves, we are also unintentionally helping each other follow Jesus.

In a comment on my previous post, I shared a story about how some friends of mine helped me follow Jesus. This happened while they were loving and serving some people in a nursing home. Their example of loving and serving the residents helped me to follow Jesus as well. But, they were not loving and serving them in order to be an example to me. They were caring for the nursing home residents because they were following Jesus themselves. Their following Jesus became an example to me and others, and their example unintentionally helped me follow Jesus.

So if we are sharing our lives with others and following Jesus at the same time, then our lives will be an example to others. Our lives will help others follow Jesus unintentionally.

Please note, this is completely different than “practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them.” (Matthew 6:1 ESV) If we are saying things or doing things in order to be noticed by others people, then we are not following Jesus.

However, if we are giving others access to our lives and following Jesus (whether others notice or not), then our lives will be an example to others and will help them follow Jesus. This is similar to what Jesus said earlier in Matthew’s Gospel: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 ESV)

Intentional discipleship (intentionally helping each other follow Jesus) is certainly important. I’ll talk about that in my next post.

But, don’t dismiss the importance of unintentional discipleship also. How do you unintentionally help others follow Jesus? By following Jesus yourself.

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Series: Discipleship as “helping each other follow Jesus”

  1. Defining discipleship as helping each other follow Jesus
  2. Helping each other follow Jesus… in different directions?
  3. How has someone helped you follow Jesus
  4. Unintentionally helping each other follow Jesus
  5. Intentionally helping each other follow Jesus

6 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-23-2013

    “If we are saying things or doing things in order to be noticed by others people, then we are not following Jesus.”

    Truth truth truth. All of my thoughts and processing out on the recent “love” series on here were based on that exact truth I had been wrestling God over. Our love isn’t true love when we love others so they will notice *us*….. even if it’s for the deeper motive of wanting to tell others about Jesus. I was slowly becoming what I thought I was getting away from when I left the Church as Business. God doesn’t need me to market Him through a business… and now I’ve found out… even through myself. He just desires me to love Him & surrender to Him.

  2. 5-25-2013

    Randi,

    Interestingly, I think the opposite is true as well. If we are following Jesus, we will be saying or doing things for other people.

    -Alan

  3. 5-25-2013

    I agree that when we are following Jesus, He will lead us to say and do things for other people…

    Which sentence did you pull out that make you think I believed opposite?

    It’s all about motive.

  4. 5-25-2013

    Randi,

    I wasn’t referring to anything you said. It’s just a thought that came to me while reading your comment where you quoted me. :)

    -Alan

  5. 5-25-2013

    sorry, this whole part of the conversation went right over my head :) I guess I am comment-ed out hehehe

  6. 9-10-2013

    I read the series on your website everyday during my lunch at work and love it.

    “practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them.” (Matthew 6:1 ESV) If we are saying things or doing things in order to be noticed by others people, then we are not following Jesus.

    As soon as I read the above, I said “he hit the nail on the head”! I do things that need to be done (and not often enough) and am aware of it, but there are times I find that I do something without even thinking about it and this happens because I have had several friends throughout my life that inspired me so much that I naturally ended up having joy in my heart. I later learned that I too passed on the joy to another friend of mine and she has shared her love with Jesus ever since.

    Thank you. :)