Tuesday, February 22, 2005

(YOU ARE THE COMPANY YOU KEEP) (sent from Internet)

Glenn on Discipleship

The longer I live the more I'm convinced that you can indeed tell a great deal about a person by the attitude, character and wisdom exhibited by that person's closest friends and advisors.

Proverbs says we become wise by walking with people of wisdom -and that a companion of fools comes to ruin.

Good counsel, truly candid and wise advice isn't always that easy to get. For a Christian, experienced, godly people who know how to apply the Word of God to everyday choices and circumstances- both within and beyond one's control- and a continuing dialogue with such people of depth comes only through commitment to one another in relationship. Better still, long term relationship. Such interaction takes time and effort. It also takes a willingness to risk a "wounded" ego, personal agendas and selfish ambition, all which unchecked, rachet up one's inflated opinion of one's self. Before honor comes humility, and a haughty spirit before a fall...

I am not saying we can't get wise counsel from complete strangers, via reading books and online documents, etc., just that the depth of meaning, balance and personal correction ALL of us need comes from long term relationships out of which we learn how to live, not only parrot truths we've memorized. Frankly, without -my- mentors, those who have stuck by me, patiently walked with me, rebuked me, listened to and cried with me, consistently albeit not perfectly loved me and my family... THESE are the one's (humanly speaking) I owe my life to. The mark of these who have discipled and all these years later still disciple me by their words and example have brought the Word of God into clear focus for me to apply. It's not just the information but the application I've seen in their lives that inspires me and moves me beyond my own spiritual laziness, baseness and self-righteousness.

The application of truth in love is often fraught with risk, laced with human mistakes and in fact, hurts. Truth not only hurts others as we apply it to them, but to ourselves.

In the western world, the age of autonomy has been discussed and of course, the term "accountability" is being tossed about more and more. "Community" is a word linked with these. But speaking from personal experience, you cannot gain love, truth or stability unless you link yourself and your decisions with people who live it out before you. By God's grace and will, by their patient commitment to me and mine to them, I have been SO blessed by such friends. May you choose and do the hard work to cultivate as well as keep such friends.

Who are your closest friends and advisors? They are a rather good measure of who you are and who you will become.  (I SURE PRAY SO)  (from Daisy)

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