The process of becoming a saint

November 7, 2013 — 3 Comments

Here’s a great reminder about how God works with flawed people, from Donald Miller:

“I remember being in a Bible study once when the teacher pulled out a book about discipleship and read ten or so characteristics of a disciple. They were things like being holy and devoted and knowledgeable and all that. They sounded nothing like the characteristics of the disciples in the Bible. The author was well meaning, of course, but it’s no doubt tempting to hang a carrot in front of people telling them they have to “become” in order to be used by God rather than admitting they actually “become” while they are in the process of being used by God. It’s an important paradigm shift for all of us because otherwise we’d be too intimidated to take the first step.
Here are some actual characteristics of the disciples I think we can safely trust. If you resonate with any of these, you’re in a good spot and likely following Jesus:
1. You think Jesus wants to take over the government so you cut off a soldiers ear in order to get the fighting started.
2. You keep pestering Jesus about who he will give more power to in heaven.
3. You have no theological training but own a small fishing business which somehow makes you qualified because you “get it.”
4. The Holy Spirit crashes into one of your mini sermons so everybody can speak different languages and outsiders think you’re drunk.
5. People ask you if you know Jesus and you freak out and say no and run away.
6. You hear they killed Jesus on a cross and you figure the whole thing was a wash and you got duped.
7. You choose other disciples by playing rock, paper, scissors.
8. You teach bad theology and have to have somebody else come over and correct you.
So there you go. My guess is there’s a place in there for you. So if you’re confused about theology or power hungry or just an average idiot, take the first step. You’ll get sorted out along the way. The disciples “became” some pretty great guys in the end.”

It’s also helpful to see that since the disciples were a *group* of imperfect people, they had to put up with each other too. Who do you need to extend grace to this week?

3 responses to The process of becoming a saint

  1. 

    I’m smiling as I read this. At my advanced age of 61 (soon to be 61+1) I’ve quit concentrating on doctrine and started concentrating on something I don’t do well. Intimacy. I don’t do it well but I’m learning. This intimacy is showing me more about me that I didn’t know about. So I’ve also learned I need to involve others with my life (1 Thess 2:8). Doing so is the only I can ensure I am truly being a disciple! Love your writing! Keep up the good work!

    Newdoors2010

    • 

      Thanks! I find it’s easy to be ‘me’ centered, even as a follower of Jesus. This piece reminded me that Jesus chose not one, but 12 flawed people, and put them into community with himself and each other. There must have been a lot of iron sharpening iron–and when that happens, sparks sometimes fly.

  2. 
    Habib and Ruth Iskander November 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Loved that about becoming, dear Annie! Noticed last week again—with surprise again!—that Jesus in His prayer in John 17 mentions that the Father had been glorified in the disciples. Their flaws are so visible! But when I thought about it, they had wonderfully glorified the Father in the Son. They’d believed in Him, received from Him, left all and followed Him. They were there when He died—sort of in and out, but there. And they ended up spreading the incredible good news that He is our righteousness. What a relief that it isn’t about us!!

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