Saturday, May 1, 2010

I want to write this post to encourage all fellow shepherds who sometimes smack their heads wondering why their sheep take so long to grow. I think for those of us who are spiritual mentors... we often wonder how to help our sheep start learning to stand and walk with God on their own. And to stop imbibing milk and start eating solid food. And to stop crapping so much in their diapers... LOL.

The past one month, I saw Jon being transformed and growing in care and concern for others. And yesterday, he really blessed me so much, shared some Bible verses with me, gave me a cup of hot chocolate and basically blessed my socks off and would have washed my feet too. LOL. Ok, I'm waxing lyrical here. And he's also been blessing his CG by encouraging them with Bible verses on a regular basis. Plus I'm pleasantly surprised by how God has graciously given him a clarity and insight into the Scriptures... that when we share what we've learnt from our quiet times, I look forward to learning from his insights.

He's an increasingly different person in terms of patience, kindness and goodness as compared to last year. Hee. It's been amazing, considering that for the first 5 years of being a Christian, he hadn't even completed the New Testament, and had been very inwards-looking, and so on. But now, wow, I'm deeply encouraged by his growing heart for God, the blooming of his spiritual gift, and his love for others. Hallelujah!

I remember how I was very frustrated quite a lot of times in the past. But one thing that struck me was how God had broken him just before he became my sheep. So he told me, "Yeu Ann, I know I really need to grow! So... scold me with all you have if you think I need it." He basically gave me the keys to the nuke launch panel, complete with access codes... LOL. There's not many brothers I know who are like him in this aspect. (Not even myself.) *respect* But he really needed a lot of pushing. So I wondered how to help him grow more stable and stop having to spoonfeed him.


I guess one thing that kept me going on was that God helped me see the spiritual potential in this brother, to become a mighty warrior. And not only so, He helped me see that everyone has a unique spiritual growth plan. The standard tactic of getting him to be more disciplined and sit down and read more regularly on his own didn't work very well.

But... getting him to read it aloud and dramatize the scenes, really caught his fancy. I realised God wired him this way, so we started reading out the Scriptures loud. Of course having regular meetups to read the Bible together really helped a lot, like how a stick helps a frail vine creep up to a higher vantage point. Jon may be a "weak" vine. But golly! what delicious fruit he can bear in Christ, as long he abides in Him. =) The finest of wines.

So, fellow shepherds, our role is simple. We are to ask God to show us what our sheep's potential is. And to also help our sheep experience God for themselves. But you'll have to discover their spiritual potential. And yes. You will have to spoonfeed them first, before they can start flying on their own. Do not all babies have to be spoonfed first?

Fellow shepherds, don't ever give up doing good! But be smart too. Don't keep banging your head against the wall - look for the door that God's placed! And most of all... point them towards God. If you can connect, connect. If you cannot, it's ok. Just keep pointing them towards the grace of God. And show them through your words and deeds toward them what the grace of God really looks like. Spoonfed them if necessary... push them if needed. But keep in mind the Big Picture - we're called to make disciples who will learn to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in all they do, not rigid ppl who will follow all the structures and regulations and do all the spiritual disciplines correctly.

Remember... we are not to make our sheep better people (by human standards). We are called to help them become newer people (become more and more human - renewed in the image of our Creator). And only God can do that transformative work in them... so we'll bring them closer and closer to the fire. But we too must be drawing closer to the fire so that we too will be burnt. For our God is an all-consuming fire.

Yes, I'm really proud of my sheep. It's such a joy and delight to see what God's power can do in someone who has been introduced to Him. And it's been such an honour to be able to not only mentor him, but I pray that one day he'll surpass me by God's grace in whatever God has called him to be. Of course, I will try to catch up haha... but hey, this is freedom. And together, we'll fly in the freedom of the Spirit, being the humans that God originally created us to be.

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