The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

In the Stream of Life, are you a Cork or a Salmon?

Posted on: June 09, 2015

Stream.2 - BND Blog #6 6-9-15-2

We saw last week that we become what we behold. That is, we inevitably become what we let into our minds and what we think about.

Therefore, there are two subsequent steps we must take.

First, we must choose what we want to become. As Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else.”

When I was in seminary, one of my professors, Howard Hendricks, asked two life-changing questions:
1. What do you want out of life?
2. Are you willing to pay the price?

If we don’t ask the first question, we wander aimlessly. If we ask the first but not the second, it’s just wishful thinking. Half-hearted measures always yield half-hearted results. If we determine what we want out of life and if we determine that we are willing to pay the price, a world of possibilities opens up to us.

As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I discipline my body and make it my slave so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27) He paid the price to become what he wanted to be. And we can do the same!

Second, after we have chosen what we want to become, we must behold the things that will get us there. In an analogy, if we decide in college that we want to be an accountant, but only take music courses, we will not be able to become an accountant. We must behold what we want to become.

The same is true in the Christian life. If we decide we want to be an authentic Christian, useable by God for His purposes, but then behold things that take us away from that goal, we are as misguided as the wannabe accountant who takes only music courses.

Francis Schaeffer, a theologian and philosopher of an earlier generation, once wrote that people get their values the same way they get the measles: by being around others who have them. As a result, people sometimes end up with values that, upon further reflection, they might have chosen to avoid.

That observation hit me with thunderous impact because for the first time in my life I began to see myself objectively. I saw in a blinding flash that I need no longer be a cork floating down the stream of life. I could be a salmon. I could choose where I wanted to end up. We all have that choice, and it is never too soon or too late to choose. As disciples, we need to make that choice. As disciplers, we need to help others make that choice.

We must realize that we become what we behold.
We must choose what we want to become.
We must behold the things that will get us there.


For more on this and related topics, see my latest book, Brave New Discipleship.

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