Proverbs 27:17: New Revised Standard Version
Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits[a] of another.
As I journey this Superintendency with you, the importance of community is stronger than ever. It is often said of this office, which I hold, that it is a lonely job and indeed it can be lonely. We all have lonely places and lives. Sometimes we create our own loneliness by trying to do things by ourselves. Other times it is the circumstances in which we find ourselves that loneliness can become an existence for us. I have discovered that intentional decisions of discipleship are necessary to breakout of places of loneliness.
I cannot be a disciple by myself. A disciple must have others to disciple and a disciple must receive discipling from others. The first place to begin as a disciple is in a place of humility allowing yourself to receive the wisdom and input into your life from others. Sometimes this is done without even the other knowing that you are gleaning from their life. There is an old saying, “you are who you hang around with.” This is born witness by the scripture in Proverbs. Others sharpen who you are whether it be good or bad. We impact the lives of others and others impact our lives. We are disciples that make disciples. Key to our walk is to recognize whose Disciple we are – the world or Jesus. Jesus is still making Disciples. His life forms me every day.
Today, someone called leaving a message to return his call. Returning his call I reached his voice mail. Listening to the voice mail I was struck with interest in how calming the voice in the greeting from the other person was for me. I heard a kind voice that made an apology for the caller not being able to reach him directly. I immediately thought of my own voice mail greeting. Did it exude such humility? Did it leave a reassurance in the caller that indeed their call would be returned? Did the message help the listener be reassured?
Listening to the voice mail identification message made me want to listen to all of your voice mail identification messages. Not that I was interested in “copying” what each performed, but rather I wanted to seek inspiration much as this greeting from another had inspired me. You see with the Spirit it is not about uniformity or being the same. Rather, it is the Spirit at work in us to bring about creative unity that gives expression of the miracle of God in us to reflect God’s nature and God’s continual creative work in us. Our unique individual expression of God’s creative work in us ensures that I gain a greater picture of the God that created us all. Not one of us can give witness to all of who God is but I can give that witness of God that was given me to share.
When I am alone, my witness is limited. When I am in community, the greater witness of God abounds. When I am with others I gain more of who God is and I can share all that God has given me. We are all made better and have more when we are together. Unity is a miracle of God’s work in us. Only God can take the multiplicity of who we are with all our differences and bring forth a choral song witnessing that it is the ONE God who made us all. It is when we are with others that we see a greater portion of the picture of God. Seeing the larger picture aids our vision to reflect more accurately a picture of our God. In our Zoom calls, I see God at work through you to transform me. Physical space is not a restriction for us. We are able to impact each other in conversations we have through media resources. We are able to impact each other through the ways we treat each other. We are being discipled every time we encounter each other. Iron sharpens Iron. Be a disciple in your relationship with Christ so that you may be a good disciple maker in others as they too disciple you.
Winning them to Jesus,
If you would like to view past editions of A Moment with Gil, follow this link: https://beacondistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/