RiverLife Weekly #22: Dare To Dive Deep
Depth is a scary thing for most of us. And we rather not dive deep. The shallow end and the surface level are a lot safer and more comfortable. Yet we know there is such beauty and treasure waiting to be revealed in us when we dive deep, relationally.
God is inherently relational, hence His mandate to make disciples is also relational.
Oswald Chambers said, “The main thing about Christianity is not what we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God wants us to look after, and it is one thing that is continually assailed.”
Unintentionally, our relationships are under strain, superficial and transactional.
One of the hallmarks in disciple making is diving deep and having tough conversations. Here, I’m not referring to an intellectual debate to persuade the other to accept a theological position.
I’m referring to having tough conversations where we allow another to confront our inner struggles to obey God’s Word; to challenge an erroneous mindset, align to what God says and to allow another to contend for my obedience to God despite my unwillingness.
Tough conversations are far from comfortable. We rather avoid them. It has no “feel-good” effect and is often stinging and prickly to our ego. Consequently, there is often a tendency to be defensive and react, and we might even take offence at what is brought up.
This invitation to dive deep is for both the Paul and the Timothy, as well as the Barnabas.
It takes courage for the Paul and the Barnabas to engage and confront with gentleness of heart.
Proverbs 20:5 – A motive in the human heart is like deep water, and a person who has understanding draws it out. (GW)
It calls for a spirit of humility in the Timothy to open his/her life for tough conversations, in which we are ready for correction or rebuke.
Proverbs 22:4 – The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honour and life. (NASB)
One of the great gifts in diving deep is being enabled to see our blind spots – it could be some prideful attitude, making decisions based on worldly values, tight-fistedness with resources, self-centredness, dishonouring mannerisms in relating, or other inconsistencies – all of which are obvious but no one dares to lovingly speak to us for our good.
Looking back, much of my growing in Christlikeness was catalysed by tough conversations my Paul had with me. Those “ouch” moments in tough conversations were transformational – it was diving deep both relationally and personally – dealing with the core of my being, without which any maturing in Christ would have been thwarted.
We short-change ourselves spiritually when we refuse to dive deep.
Pastor Dinah Lee