The Christian life is the greatest thing one can be a part of and invest their life into. When Jesus looked at 12 ordinary men and said, “Follow me,” it was the invitation to die to self and follow the Master. When these 12 men put their “Yes” on the table, an incredible opportunity full of love, grace, and devotion began. The Christian life is also difficult. Don’t misunderstand, it is completely worth it, but with sacrifice comes difficult decisions and constantly defining self for a greater purpose. That being said, as a Christ follower myself, I believe there are three people every Christ follower should have in their lives on a consistent basis as we continue to walk this faith journey together.
Someone before you. This is a mentor figure in your life that is further down the road than you. A person that instructs and speaks truth into your life. They pray for you, ask hard questions, and model what a devoted Christ follower looks like. They are not perfect by any stretch, but they are obedient to what God has called them to do. Therefore they become someone we watch, we learn from, we seek counsel from, and we seek to model what they model. The danger for so many Christ followers is that we become complacent and think “we have made it” in our faith journey, and we stop learning and reading and become lazy. Christ followers, may we always have at least one person that is in front of us, urging us and guiding us to love Jesus more than anything else.
Someone beside you. This is a friend and accountability partner in your life. They are about the same age, same gender, and are in the same life stage as you. You minister to them, and they minister to you. They ask you the hard questions, and you ask them the hard questions. You meet often, text each other often, and pray for each other often. The Christian life was never, ever meant to be lived in a silo. When Christ followers isolate themselves and don’t have accountability and biblical community in their lives, we are so much more likely to fall into temptation, “hide” sin, and not grow spiritually. It is vital that every Christ follower has at least one person beside them.
Someone behind you. This is either a person that is not a Christ follower or a struggling Christ follower. For whatever reason, they are struggling in life. They need prayer, counsel, encouragement, and, most important a maturing Christ follower to come beside them and give them sound, Biblical truth, and guidance. They need someone to stop what they are doing and care enough to hear their story. If they are not a Christ follower, they need someone to clearly explain the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how to accept Him as their personal LORD and Savior. If they are a true Christ follower and they have hit a rough patch, they need someone who will be honest and help them. To commit to praying for and with them. Christ follower, don’t share with this person that you are “in front of them” in life. All this will do is create a “They think they are better than me” mentality that will discourage instead of encourage. Simply minister to them in honest, real, and tangible ways.
Christ follower… who is before you, who is beside you, and who is behind you?