Time and Effort
19 March 2017
Reading: Joshua 3-6; 1 Corinthians 4
There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. It was as Jesus helped me proclaim God’s Message to you that I became your father. (1 Corinthians 4:15 MSG)
This chapter is mostly about comparisons, criticism, and judging people. Paul says there are plenty of people around who can’t wait to judge and criticize and tell you what you’ve done wrong. It’s not hard to find people to tell you what you should be doing better—and what you need to do to get it right.
There seems to be a real shortage of people who will take the time and effort to be spiritual parents—to walk with you and work with you and help you grow up into all you can become in Christ.
Preachers can point out sin and error and make us aware of our need to change. Teachers can lay out a course of action that tells us what we need to do to change. It’s mentors or spiritual parents who are willing to take the time and effort to walk through the process of learning and growing and changing. This is not mass ministry. This is long term, one-to-one, committed caring. This is spiritual parenting.
I’m beginning to realize something I partly knew all along:The most important and effective thing I can do with my time, my gifts, and my energy is to influence the next generation of Christ-followers and to share with them the life-lessons learned on my journey so far.
I challenge you who are spiritually mature to join me in asking our wise and loving Father how to best serve the next generation. What do we have to give them? How can we best offer it? How can we most effectively parent our spiritual children?
Father, Please help me know how to be a spiritual father who actually takes the time and makes the effort to help someone grow up. I don’t know how to schedule it. I don’t know how to structure it. I don’t know how to choose. But I want to leave a lasting legacy in the lives of others.