Spiritual fathers and mothers are necessary for growing disciples of Jesus. These are mature believers who have experienced bumps, bruises and brokenness over their lifetime of following the Lord. They know what it means to enjoy God’s grace and peace, and they know how to give Him the glory in their success. These seasoned saints don’t pretend to know it all; on the contrary, they are diligent students in the school of faith.
Wise are we to be on the look out for older friends who are worthy to follow. Their humble heart attracts our heart and their keen mind challenges our thinking. It is out of our mentor’s engagement with Jesus that they are able to parent us in the faith. Avoid a self-proclaimed sage, seek instead a servant of the gospel. We only imitate those who first imitate Christ. Who do I follow that will make me wiser tomorrow?
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 NKJV
What are the holy habits you see in other genuine Jesus followers? How do they spend their free time? Be on the look out for inspiration and creativity in growing your intimacy with Christ. Ask your spiritual parent what they read and how they hold themselves accountable to God’s standards as defined in Holy Scripture. You become what you read and you become like those you are with. Gaining wisdom is not accidental, it’s intentional.
If you want to grow in your prayer life, pray with people who know how to pray. If you want to grow in your Bible knowledge, study with those who know how to rightly interpret the word of truth. If you want to become a humble servant of Jesus, serve with those who quietly serve others in Jesus’ name. If you want to learn contentment as a single adult, hang out with single adults who are content in Christ. If you want to become the best in your vocation, be with those who are the best in your vocation.
Above all else, make it your number one priority to first imitate Christ. As you grow in your love and obedience to the Lord, others will see that you are worthy of following. Embrace this privilege as an opportunity to give back what other generous souls have so freely given you. When you become a spiritual parent to newly born babes in Christ, you are accountable to parent them well. Indeed, you imitate Jesus and they imitate you!
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6
Prayer: Lord Jesus, allow my heart to follow hard after you, so that I am worthy to be followed.
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