A while back I was visiting with one of our local pork producers and he was telling me about a conversation he had with one of his past employees. As part of his duties in the hog operation, the employee he was telling me about was responsible for herd health, facility maintenance, receiving and loading out the hogs, and for power washing the inside of the finishing facilities after each cycle.
When it came time to power wash the inside of the finishing unit, this employer instructed his new employee that it was time to begin pressure washing. Well, after giving instructions on the process and how to operate their equipment, much to the employer’s surprise, the employee said, “You know, I’ve done a lot of pressure washing in my day, I don’t think I’m really interested in doing that job.”
Can you believe the immaturity of his response? Especially if that’s what he was hired to do. Imagine if you were the employer, how would you respond to such statement? And yet when it comes to being disciples of Jesus, isn’t that often our response. When Jesus informs us of a certain process of discipleship or instructs us to do something, don’t we often act like we’re above the task or just not interested.
In his book, Discipleshift, Jim Putman shares what he believes are the five different shifts the church must make if we are going to be intentional about developing disciples who actually follow Jesus. And he would say that an important part of making disciples is to identify their level of maturity, and the way you determine the level of spiritual maturity is by how a person speaks. Like Jesus said in Luke 6:45, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Over the next few weeks, I will share some of his examples of the things people might say at the different levels of spiritual maturity. Today I begin with what a spiritually dead person might say.
I don’t believe there’s a God.
The Bible is just a bunch of myths and manmade stories.
Religion is a crutch for the weak.
I’m spiritual, but I don’t focus on one religion.
There are many ways to God.
I don’t believe in hell. How could a loving God send people to hell?
I’ve been a pretty good person; I’ll take my chances with the big man upstairs.
I don’t believe there is an absolute right or wrong. I’ll determine what I believe to be true.
Yes, I believe in Jesus, but I’m too busy to spend time with him.
As we reflect on how we respond to Jesus invitation to follow him, may the words of our mouths and the mediations of our heart be pleasing in the sight of our Lord, our Rock and Redeemer. Mike