Updated: Jun 15, 2022
A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40 NET)
One of the starkest memories I have about being “Christian” happened after undergrad, bumping into a friend I hadn’t seen in a few years. I had known her from some of the youth groups I had attended on campus while trying to find my niche. We were talking about life, and I said I had come to Costco right after church. She quickly exclaimed, “I had no idea you were Christian!” I am not sure how she meant it, but it has always stuck out to me, even many years later. I feel less guilty now than I did then; I’m probably being hard on myself. But it still stings a little.
I am so challenged by the notion that I want my actions to be my witness as much as my words can be. Words have so much power, but Jesus not only spoke, he also acted. He acted on behalf of God, to give grace to us all. Those are big footprints to fill, and I sit in that tension of wanting to act and thinking, “I need more training!”
However, part of that training is stepping out and doing and being shaped by those experiences. What I love about the verse above is that I do not have to be better at something than my teacher. As a perfectionist, it’s hard for me to do things I’m not good at. Like Moses, I can very easily say, “Oh don’t use me, I’m not so good at that.” That is a lie, though, that I buy into time and again: that I have to be better or feel “more” called to something.
The bottom line is that by submitting to God, as we seek Jesus and are “fully trained,” we can live out our calling. I keep having to remind myself that it will not look the same every time I think I am called to step out. And I will not always experience God the same way, which is both exciting and terrifying! But I must take a step of faith and trust in that training, mainly because it is all in God’s hands anyway.
I am still mulling over my current foundation, stuck on one of those questions from Mark’s sermon this week: “What is God calling me to let go of?” What baggage can I lay at God’s feet this time? However, I will take this heart exercise as training to be like my teacher. While I may never be fully trained, even a little training can mean that by my actions and words, people will know my teacher.