If you’ve read any of the comments on my blog, then you’ve probably come across comments by Randi at “Seeds in my Heart.” I often joke with Randi that her comments are often longer than my posts. But, I actually enjoy the way that she uses comments to “think through” various topics and questions.
Last week, Randi wrote a very good post called “Shepherding the Lambs.” The post is primarily about how she shepherds her children. However, there is much in her post that is applicable even to us adults.
She primarily sees her role as helping her children understand how Jesus himself is shepherding them. She writes:
To me, it’s just about creating opportunities for the kids to interact with Jesus…and to keep my eyes & heart open to God seeds whenever, wherever.
But, primarily, I want to point to a statement that Randi made toward the end of her post, where she writes:
The more I think about it, I really am not sure who is discipling who, really. This is so very humbling.
Yes, that’s it exactly. When we’re discipling one another – that is, when we’re helping one another follow Jesus – it’s often hard to figure out who is discipling whom. And, I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Why? Because, discipleship is the work of God through the Holy Spirit as he guides us and empowers us to follow Jesus Christ. He uses us, of course, but it’s his work.
And, who does God work through? Whoever is indwelled by his Spirit – that is, by all of his children.
So, while it’s definitely possible – and perhaps probable – that a mature follower of Jesus Christ will disciple a new believer, it is just as possible that the new believer will also disciple the mature follower of Jesus Christ – if they are both depending on the work of God through the Holy Spirit to help them follow Jesus.
I never worry about who is discipling whom. Because it’s always God discipling all of us by his Holy Spirit dwelling in and working through all of us.
The only danger, then, is if someone assumes that she/he cannot be discipled by someone else.