Roadblocks to Discipleship
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy spirit, so that you became an example to all believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
-1 Thessalonians 1:6
We are called to disciple. Period. This is not an option or a special gift that is only given to a few. Discipleship is not a 12-week program that we graduate from. Discipleship is simply doing life with others in light of how God is revealing Himself to us. Discipleship is sharing our stories and prayers of how the gospel is transforming us.
If I may say broadly, discipleship is imitation. Discipleship is a willingness to be imitated and a willingness to imitate others who are striving to be like Christ Himself.
So what are some roadblocks. Why are we afraid to imitate or let others imitate us.
Heroes in the past have always let us down. Remember Lance Armstrong? Bill Cosby? Ravi Zacharias? Our fear is that our Christian friends will fail us. Many of us can't bear to enter into a relationship that may fail. But we must enter into our church life resting on the promise that the Lord will provide Spirit-filled relationships.
(2) Christian Imposter Syndrome
Many times we don't feel like we are living the Christian life. You may not be. But you also may be! Don't let the devil get a foothold in your life and isolate you from others. Perhaps all you need is people around you helping you to follow Christ.
(3) Compassion Fatigue
Are you exhausted from caring for others? Don't recharge by spending time with yourself. You need to spend time with the Lord. Read Scripture and be in prayer. Praise God for His love and compassion for you. Then with much wisdom enter back into the life of the church.
(4) Unrepented Sin
The most serious of these reasons is that we have unrepented sin in our lives. Sin prevents us from the Lord and the fellowship with one another. But here again is where brothers and sisters can help. Confess your sins to the Lord and to one another. Let the Lord's forgiveness and grace set you on right path again.
Perhaps some of these (or all) roadblocks ring true for you. The gospel frees us from all of these and allows us to enter into other people's lives.
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