Thursday, February 23, 2012

Let Me Explain...

When I was over at Snap Fitness this morning, after my morning school bus run, I listened to the television as I was doing my normal "half workout" on the circuit machines.  The political analysts were dissecting last night's primary debate and one of them was saying how Santorum got caught up in explaining himself too much.  I wish I remembered the exact line the analyst used, but it was something like "explanation is not a winning strategy."  And as I heard that, I thought of this blog.

I do a lot of explaining on here.  I do it mostly to organize my thoughts.  But that's not the only reason that I blog.  I do it for you too.  I do it because God has worked in and through my life and I believe that sharing these things is really helpful.  This blog could be seen as an ongoing testimony to the work of God in my life and in the ministry and family and people God has given me.  More than a testimony, however, because I take time to explain, at least sometimes, why I believe the way I do.  And though that may not be a winning strategy, I think it's mostly good.

I think I can use Jesus as an example of someone who explained things.  This was not his winning strategy.  In fact, when he explained things there were some who quit following!  Explaining wasn't the first thing he did.  Explaining came later.  Explaining came with discussion after his followers (disciples) had some experience with what Jesus was doing.  In fact, some of the explanation happened after he was done teaching them in the flesh.  Some of the explanation was given directly by the Holy Spirit.

If I was hoping that people would follow me as a spiritual leader just because I told them to do so, I would not need to explain anything.  But because I believe our relationship with one another as disciples of Jesus is to be more friendship than follower-ship (see John 15:15) explanation, and even better, discussion--that is very important.  A "servant" or a "follower" doesn't need to know what his master is doing.  A friend does.  So, as a leader who hopes for friendship with those who come after does need to explain.  Even if it means losing some people along the way.

For more on this, see Lifeshapes Discipleship - The Square.

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