If love is not the reason for what we do for people, then what we do is ultimately in vain (1 Corinthians 13). Sometimes in the middle of engaging in discipleship, we can get caught up in doing certain things to be seen or trying to "teach" certain principles to appear so wise to other people in some kind of effort to prove something. The problem is that kind of behavior is rooted in selfishness, pride, arrogance, and insecurities. When you really know who you are in Christ, you don't have to try to prove anything to anyone.
"Fulfilling Jesus’ command to make disciples is about more than having the right theology or well-developed teaching points" (Francis Chan). Making disciples isn’t about gathering pupils to listen to your teaching. It’s not about what you know—or what you think you know—it’s about love. Let's always be faithful to God’s call to love the people around us. We need to love people enough to help them see their need to love and obey God. Moreover, we don't need to beat people down with religion. We don't need any more Pharisees. What we need is more people showing people Jesus, the One Who loves us perfectly.
Real discipleship is not for the faint of heart. It's going to cost you something. I remember someone once said that it is harder to be a real Christian in America, than anywhere else. I believe it too. Look around. We have all these luxuries and so many resources at our individual disposals. Why would any American who is well off feel as if they need God to fulfill their needs? We in America often have this false sense of autonomy and entitlement. Do we really know what it means to have to give up something major to truly follow Christ as a disciple? Do we really know what it means to count up the cost? I can assure you that those in the eastern part of the world who have to meet in secret in order to have Bible studies and fellowship to avoid being killed know what it means to count the cost of following Jesus. So here in America, I think we struggle with real discipleship because many of us might not have to literally give up much. So we might take discipleship for granted. But when you have to give up a lot, then you take it all the more seriously. I can honestly say that I have not had to really give up much to follow Jesus, but I recognize that I must give up my own will at least in order to do His.
God did not create us to live in isolation away from other people. So what does that mean for discipleship? Discipleship means investing in deep relationships. It's not just about sharing Biblical information. It's about groups of people doing life together. So some people might shy away from discipleship because of the fear of getting hurt. How do we combat that fear? We pray for God to give us courage. We pray that God would help us to be compassionate towards others, no matter the scenarios we have to face.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.