Thursday, February 11, 2010

Letter to a Christian

Dear Friend,
I understand why you can't follow through-- actually, let me rephrase-- won't follow through. The definition of a Disciple is one who follows through. But follow through is extremely difficult.

At times it's incredibly uncomfortable. I mean heck, you realize you're not doing something and it will adversely affect your loved ones, so you get fired up to change. But that lasts only as long as the emotion.

Follow Through lasts longer than an emotion. And I'm sure that's why so, so many choose to stop. But what's troubling at times, is that you look at how fired up you were and convince yourself the follow through happened. So now you're inoculated-- no chance of catching the real "follow through" disease... because you think you already had it.

And that's another hard thing-- follow through never, ever stops. And there are times it's so hard, you just want to quit... to let up... to relent. But the real Disciples continue on-- through the easier times and through the harder.

I believe that's also a reason Paul wrote what he did at the beginning of Corinthians-- you know, the part about not preaching with clever words and such. If you can manipulate a person's emotions towards Christ, they can be manipulated away as well. Again, that's why a disciple is all about follow through. It's about putting one foot in front of the other, in spite of being weary.

And I understand why you choose not to follow through for this reason-- the more you continue to follow through, the lonelier it gets. Because fewer and fewer people have actually put that foot in front of the other. But you can have 4,000 friends on Facebook and truly be alone. You can walk with God alone and never be lonely.

But if you do choose to follow through-- the rewards are incredible. I hope you do choose to follow through with what He's written and told you to do. Success is not counting the number of souls you saved. It's in obedience (faithfulness) to what He's asked you to do. That's all.

If you follow through, it will be more than lip service. There will be tangible fruit from your actions. It's unavoidable. But if there's no fruit, then you can tell me that you've followed through until your blue in the face, but it doesn't make it reality.

The word "covenant" is about follow through. About doing what you say you're going to do. God takes covenant very seriously. And I know that our American culture teaches you to pass the buck-- don't own it, because you'll get struck down. So blame anyone else you can. But don't confuse throwing people under the bus with follow through.

You ask questions and you get answers. Very few of the answers you actually pursue with little more than faint lip service. I think God will ask you to do one small thing and see what you do. Then He'll ask more. And more. Like the parable of the talents. I hope you won't bury it, but will follow through to find a multiplication principle in play.

Because as a Disciple, someone who follows through, His yoke is easy, His burden light. And when you pretend, it takes a lot, a lot of work. Kinda like the irony of the lazy man who works so hard to get away with laziness.

So show don't tell. Show fruit. Less talk and empty promises. More follow through.

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