Don’t Do Dis!

20 03 2014

We live in a world where advice comes at us from every side. Someone else always has an idea of how we should run our lives…

…and we can just as quickly “sort out” someone else’s life, if they’d only listen to our sage wisdom!

We recently finished a course in mentoring/discipling others. It was revolutionary for me.

My job, I discovered, isn’t to tell others what to do…

…it’s to point them to the only One who knows exactly what should take place. In the meantime, I get to let go of making judgment calls and condemning.

That’s a lot of freedom right there!

Instead of, “Do this, do that,” our response is:

“What do you sense the Lord is saying to you regarding this matter?”

If they haven’t inquired of the Lord, that’s the first line of business:

“You ask Him, then come tell me what He said.”

That they’ve never heard the Lord speak is not a consideration. It has to happen sooner or later, why not now?

The Bible says that His sheep hear His voice.

When they come back to report, what they think He said is weighed against the Word. Is it consistent with His expressed will? If not, then we ask again…and ask Him to make it plain.

Most of the time, though, what they *thought* they might have heard is correct. Their excitement at having actually connected with Jesus is so fun to experience!

The beauty of this sort of discipleship is that we are, in fact, teaching them to follow Jesus…which is what it means to be a disciple.

Further, I do not bear responsibility for making decisions or judgment calls that were wrong, and having to bear the embarrassment when they follow my wrong advice.

I love it!

When our time together is finished (and this is rarely a long-term commitment), they’ve learned how to hear God’s voice for themselves, and how to discern whether they heard correctly as well. They’ve actually learned to follow Jesus…and not me.

I am not omniscient, nor can I save anyone. Like John the Baptizer, I point others to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Does it get any better than this?

No matter what their issue, I am free to love, to speak truth (in love), and to give a listening ear without becoming embroiled in their life.

In the past, this is exactly what I did. I would become very emotionally invested in their problems, take sides, heap condemnation on their foes, and make myself nearly crazy in the process.

It’s wonderful to be able to give a safe place to vent (without repeating what was said to my friends and family), to point them to the Lord and ask lots of questions to help them think through what’s going on, and treat them with honor and respect…while extending the same honor and respect to those with whom they are in conflict.

I don’t want to “dis” anyone ever again!

The “byline” of our church is this:

We love. We make disciples.

I want to live my life like this…

Free

I’m amazed at how complicated I can make the simple commands to:

1) Go and make disciples

and

2) Love one another.

Do I never give advice? No. Sometimes it’s necessary to open Scripture and show them what God has to say about the matter.

Other than that, it’s a matter of asking questions and helping them come to their own conclusion…to take responsibility for their own life. I can make observations about common threads and ask them to consider the matter with the Lord.

They’re free to take or leave what I’ve said. Since my reputation as a *wise counselor* isn’t at stake, I’m not on the line. I don’t get frustrated because I’ve given *my* best advice – and had them completely ignore it, either.

They get to grow up a bit…and so do I as I practice entrusting them to the Lord. Grace and mercy can now flow from Him through me without my deciding whether or not they should receive it.

With the Lord’s help, I want to love…

…and not do dis!

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15 responses

29 03 2014
Valerie Rutledge

Hey Tami…for some reason your posts haven’t been in my feed so I thought you were on sabbatical! So glad I decided to check on you today. This post was just what I needed. I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately with the needs & prayer requests that come my way, but I need to remember it’s not my words they seek, but the wisdom of the Lord. Thanks sister!

29 03 2014
lessonsbyheart

Posts haven’t shown up lately because I’m not posting much right now. We’re enjoying a full house with six extra people living with us for the time being, and I’ve been studying and writing music. So much to do, so little time.

The one thing we’re working on most right now is learning to love people…not turn them into a project. The results are fantastic – God is free to work on them in His timing…and we are free to let them bear the responsibility of their own lives. It’s fantastic, and makes loving so much easier (no frustration factor when they disregard our *great* advice!).

When the dust settles, I hope to return to regular posts.

Have a blessed week, dear sister!

\o/

25 03 2014
StephenWhoElse

This is spot on. I’ve had several occasions to “counsel” others and while it was well-intentioned, I’ve never felt that I was getting through or making a difference.It’s great that you’ve got some training on this! Never know when it will come in handy!

Leaning on His word is a lot better than trying to come up with wise-sounding advice of our own!

26 03 2014
lessonsbyheart

I agree, and teaching them how to hear from the Lord is even better. Then they can get help anytime, anyplace. ๐Ÿ˜‰

\o/

24 03 2014
Mary

Great post Tami! Still learning this, especially whenever it involves one of my (grown) children …

26 03 2014
lessonsbyheart

Grown children are the best. Once they’re adults, I hand them off to the Lord. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Actually letting go…that’s another matter. ๐Ÿ™‚

\o/

26 03 2014
Mary

There’s a lot of truth in that statement alone!

Blessings!

23 03 2014
thethinkingofthoughts2013

I love this post – great advice. I too have found it all to easy to get emotionally involved in other peoples’ difficulties and I definitely like the no ‘dis’ approach.

22 03 2014
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

I Love Dis, Tami!
Hee hee!

I really do. You got it, Sister!
It took me too many “wandering” years to get it, but when I DID… Well, what you said:

I want to live my life like thisโ€ฆ

โ€ฆFree

20 03 2014
nopew

Another facet of this has to do with them. As a counsellor people would come to me to save their marriage. I always said I couldn’t and wouldn’t. I taught them how to communicate, life skills of empathy and sympathy. It was up to them to save the marriage. If I had arrogantly used techniques to save them they could wait on me, blame me, but surely turn passive. Passive people don’t save anybody or anything.
Peace

21 03 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for adding that bit. I forgot to add it.

When I make their problems mine, they believe they’ve passed the baton – and feel like the responsibility to fix it is now on my shoulders. NO THANK YOU!

\o/

20 03 2014
gailmanizak

As I have tried to post your articles on FB, I find the link is not working for me. If you have had anyone else say anything you may want to check this. ARTICLE, this is a great word thank you for posting. hugs Gail

20 03 2014
lessonsbyheart

I don’t know why they won’t post. I’m not very savvy when it comes to techie stuff. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Thanks for taking time to comment. I LOVE your posts, and am following you, since you’re repeating everything the Lord’s been speaking to me since November. Isn’t He amazing???

\o/

20 03 2014
Pure Glory

Learning to listen and have a direct relationship with the Lord is crucial. It is teaching someone to fish rather than just giving them a fish. This is true love for one another.

20 03 2014
lessonsbyheart

It certainly is a more peaceful way to live and love. ๐Ÿ™‚

\o/

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