[The following is a guest post from Dale V. Wayman]
One of the things that is exciting about being involved in a church plant is the influx of new people coming to know Jesus, seeing miraculous things happening and being energized by new Christians. It is absolutely thrilling when a person who previously didn’t regard Christ as his/her Savior experiences a life-changing decision. It boosts my faith when these people “who don’t know better” really believe that God can do anything.
Having been a Christian for over 40 years, I think that I got this Christian thing down. I can easily become complacent and lazy. Yet, these new Christians are an inspiration. They remind me of how I need to rely more on Christ and less on myself.
I was in a small group from our church and we were praying for these new people. I was struck by a thought that I am sure came from God. I remember thinking, “you don’t really believe that these new Christians are gonna make it, do you?” It was difficult for me to admit that to myself. But I sensed a further prompting, “tell these people in your small group what you have been thinking.” So I said, “this is hard to say but I’m gonna say it. I have to confess to the sin of pride, of elitisim. These new people that we have been praying would come to our church, I have been thinking that they wouldn’t last. That they aren’t really gonna make this Christian thing work for them. I’ve been thinking that they will never be as good of a Christian as I am.” Now, I would like to say that my statements changed somebody but these statements only changed me.
I am glad that I was brave enough to say out loud what I have been thinking for a while. It was difficult but humbling. I didn’t experience any condemnation from my small group friends but rather an open discussion about attitudes and how we need to allow God’s Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out.
I was thinking about my comments and my attitudes a little later, and I had another thought, “If these new Christians don’t make it, you will be partly to blame. It is up to you to offer encouragement, discipleship, friendship and support.”
That’s one of the many things that I like about the Holy Spirit. He’s direct, to the point and doesn’t just blast away at me. He’s sees something that needs to be corrected and all I have to do is listen, trust and obey.
I’m glad that after being a Christian for all these years, that God hasn’t stopped with molding me into the image of Christ.
If I’m honest and humble, He will do just that. He will do the same for you.
Please check out Dale V. Wayman’s website @ www.ironstrikes.com