I have invested in people out of DUTY and NOT LOVE
1 Peter 5:2“…not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you.”
In Scripture, we are called to love, above everything else we do.
I recently heard a young man talking about his relationship with the guy that was investing in him. He had high hopes of being poured into and loved. It did not take long for him to realize that he was essentially not much more than a calendar item. This caused the one being discipled to not open his life fully and it gave him a “bad taste” for how she understood “being discipled”.
God’s design for disciple making is love (John 15:12-17), a love that willingly lays down it’s life. Peter says in chpt. 1 verse 22 to “love one another deeply and from the heart.” Even when he was mad, Paul’s mode of operation was love (2 Cor. 2:4).
The reality is that if people do not believe that you genuinely love them then they will not be confident in sharing with you the deep things in their life. This will result in them they not opening up the places in their heart where the Holy Spirit needs to move.
Here are a few ways to know if your discipling relationships lean more toward duty than love. If these happen consistently, you may be discipling out of duty.
1. You have to squeeze them into your life.
2. I am not “with them” when I am with them.
3. It becomes to easy for you to neglect or cancel times of being together.
4. You do not think about them and pray for them unless you are with them.
To disciple out of love is to joyfully sacrifice your life so that Christ will be formed in them (2 Cor. 4).
• We can all only love so many people well. Ask for a loving heart and do not try to disciple more people than you can love.
• Tell those that you are discipling that you love them.
• Ask those you are discipling how they receive and give love. (Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages is a great resource in understanding this topic)
• Whenever you read Scripture ask the question, “How can this lead me to love as Jesus loves?”
Love is the vehicle of our discipling relationships. Without it, we are just making noise. (1 Cor. 13)