Friday, June 15, 2007

Discipleship and Scotch-Brite

Still on items found at Walmart.

Growing up my parents taught me how to help with housework. The most common chore was doing the dishes.

In those days washing dishes meant using “steel wool” and a sponge. Steel wool was made of strands of steel that were matted together into a ball and was used as an abrasive. The sponge was used to apply the detergent and absorb excess water as the dishes were rinsed.

I never liked steel wool. It felt strange and when it grated on ceramic or porcelain it had a feel and sound that resembled the scratching of a blackboard with ones fingernails. Not good.

Then one day the 3M Company came up with Scotch-Brite. It was unique because it had one side that was abrasive and the other side was a sponge.

Discipleship is like Scotch-Brite on several counts:

1. People are like sponges. They can only take a certain amount. When sponges have absorbed water nothing else can be absorbed. So it is with teaching others about life and the scriptures. People can only take so much. Too much means saying a lot but not being absorbed. Fact is mentoring and training takes days, weeks, months and even years. Slow is fast.

2. As disciple makers we need to be like sponges that absorb and give to others. We need a soft side that help people willingly open up so their hearts may be cleansed.

3. Like Scotch-Brite life requires an abrasive side. The side that confronts and deals with deep hard to remove dirt. When people realize that our motives are simply to see the best of life for them they will allow us to be the other side that feels like “steel wool” in their lives. Get a hint the soft spongee side is much thicker than the abrassive side. Conversely, life is not just all about soft sponges.

4. Unlike steel wool that scratches and scrapes and sometimes grates on surfaces, Scotch-Brite was designed to deal with dirt and grime without harming surfaces. Confronting others is designed to deal with life’s real issues, but not at the expense of harming others but with the intent of bringing them to the next level of life.

Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5

When God deals with issues in our life his intent is not simply to expose us. Rather to reveal the motives of our hearts so we can deal with them to allow us to move on to the next level of life. As we do, His goal is to praise us as we fulfill the destiny that He has for our lives.

1 comment:

Ray Mercer said...

Great insights Ptr Joey. Keep it coming!