Home > Uncategorized > too much of a good thing

too much of a good thing

Nothing is more “Christian” than our responsibility for discipleship.  Although not exclusively Christian, Jesus Himself instructs us in the logos to “make disciples” throughout the entire world (Matthew 28:19).  It’s clear we’re under a mandate to introduce people to our Champion and help them mature in their walk with Him.

The word for disciple in the original Greek is μαθητεύω mathētĕuō, which is pronounced math-ayt-yoo´-o; meaning to become a pupil; to enroll as scholar, to disciple, instruct, or teach.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Most people believe that we organically satisfy the call of discipleship by simply getting people to join our church or involve them in some form of spiritual community.  While this certainly gives them access to regular doses of spiritual teaching, they mostly end up getting an indoctrination of that spiritual community’s belief system and cultural norms.

Granted, every church does it differently and that’s okay.  But, whether it’s all about the Bible teaching or not, liturgy driven or not, mission focused or not, evangelically-purposed or not, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that any of those things transpose into true discipleship.

Discipleship is still about relationships which involve one person following another person who is following The Master.

Just because you know a lot of scripture doesn’t mean that you know Jesus.

Just because you attend church on a regular basis doesn’t automatically prove you’ve taken on the character of Christ.

Just because you live in close proximity to other Christians doesn’t guarantee you are spiritually healthy.

As much as we’d like to put the weight of validating proof on externals, it’s not a foolproof plan.

Externals can be deceiving.

The character of Christ doesn’t develop from the outside.  It’s sourced from an internal work of the Holy Spirit, and it takes real time to work its way outward in a person’s life.  Thus, we need the opportunity to walk with people for a season or two…or three.  The transition from seed to fruit doesn’t happen over night.

With all that said, I’m convinced that we have an incredible opportunity to steward our relationships, living situations, roommates, and partners with an intentionality that raises the spiritual bar at every level.  Even though the discipleship process may not be formally recognized in that arrangement, you still have the opportunity to help someone “step it up” or you yourself be the herald of excellence when things go sour or get stale for that person.

Where it gets weird and funky is when the ugly viper of codependency slithers into a discipleship opportunity.  What could be “iron sharpening iron” becomes a self-made prison of taking for my own need and emotional desires.

Bearing one another’s burdens is part of any healthy relationship; but if I’m doing it for my own emotional legitimacy or comfort, it’s become too much of a good thing.

If you can’t function in life without the sign-off of another person, you might want to think about what I’m saying here.  If it can get overly restrictive and controlling with married couples (and it does happen), imagine how jacked up it can become with singles who rage with the need to be validated!  Add the possibility that illicit sexuality or unhealthy soul-ties somehow get involved and now you’ve brewed a deadly potion that reeks of control, bondage, and witchcraft.

Too much!

If it has gotten to that point, take the word “discipleship” – or any other notion of spiritual health – out of it altogether.  You can think it’s an honoring relationship if you want, but that doesn’t make it so.  If you need another person’s approval in your life more than you need the presence of God, then you have a problem.

It’s not an either-or situation.

You can live in a healthy balance.  But if you can’t get into the next season without the sign-off of all the people you’re currently with, or find yourself addicted to the need to be needed, that might be an indicator of how hung you really are.

Discipleship is all about the transfer of life.  Codependency ultimately is a confining and restrictive element.  Take an honest look and evaluate the overall health of your relationships.  Is what you’re involved in too much of a good thing?

-MDP-

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Sage
    November 14, 2012 at 10:02 am

    The power behind/in this is awesome! thank you thank you, i get it.. too much of a good thing is no bueno. like, too many prunes is not a good thing
    love u endlessly

    • November 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Exactly… prunes. lol xoxo

  2. Mark
    November 14, 2012 at 11:15 am

    “Discipleship is all about the transfer of life.” I like that. Thanks.

  3. November 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    SO applicable for me right now! Love your heart- love you!

  4. November 15, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Good stuff, sir.

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