Investing in Others

One of the most groundbreaking talks that I heard at Wesley happened during my third year as a student. I listened to Blake Wiggins give a talk on honor. When I tell you this talk wrecked me, it destroyed me as a twenty year old that had no idea how to take what I was naturally good at and steward it.  Blake described honor by indicating that essentially everyone has some image of God they were meant to show the world. It is our duty as Christians to treat everyone as image bearers of Christ and let our actions and our words reflect that truth. In the way we speak to and about people, we either honor or dishonor them as creations of Christ. The way I heard Blake speak on this with such passion, conviction, and resilience awakened me to what would soon become my core value of honor.

Wesley is a special place, because it hands you people to influence whether you’re leading small groups or discipling them. Without having done anything to earn it, there are now people looking up to you and asking you to influence them in some capacity. Literally no other place is like Wesley in this regard. Outside of Wesley, if you want discipleship/mentorship to be a regular part of your life, you have to work for it. Discipleship looks different outside of Wesley, but it gets to be great. I am convinced that God is always present in the moments when we choose to give what has been given to us.

Discipleship has always been my favorite part of Wesley. My life was forever changed when my first discipler looked at me and told me I was worthy of love. She showed me honor by consistently showing up and giving herself to our time. My perspective shifted when I realized I could do that for others. By simply being present and loving them, I could help shift someone’s reality. The girls that I have discipled mean the world to me, because I see the unique manifestations of Christ’s love and character in each of them. Regardless of whether I was having a good or bad day, God showed up because He loves them. On my bad days, I got to see God fill in the gaps. On my good days, I got to partner with his Spirit in how He wants to transform their character in Christlikeness and give them hope for better things to come. When they had bad days, it physically hurt to not be able to offer anything more than my presence. I knew the pain that they were sitting in, and I couldn’t fast forward through that for them. On their good days, I got to have a front row set to watch them claim victory with Christ. There’s no better feeling in the world than watching someone you love become more of who God created them to be.

“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” -Matthew 10:5-8

This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. It embodies my heart for discipleship. Clay Kirkland, who started the internship program, always said in any regard emotionally, financially, or spiritually: “freely you have been received, freely you should give.” This is the currency of heaven. This is the command of heaven, to give all that has been given to us. God does not simply give us good things for us to store for ourselves. We only keep what we choose to give back to God and others. We can see this as a common theme throughout Scripture and the character of Jesus.

Discipleship keeps me connected to the heart of God, because walking beside these girls pushes me to believe more for myself and my relationship with God. I am constantly fighting for more for these girls, with a resolute spirit that believes for more for them. I am willing to believe there is something worth fighting for on the other side of pain for these girls, because I believe God loves them that much. It has pushed me to shift that same heart to myself. It has pushed me closer to God in that as I know the Father more. I see more of His goodness and character in them. My intimacy with God challenges me to push them to see the goodness of God for themselves. We are all moving from one degree of glory to another. As I see God doing a refining work in myself, it gives me a hope that there will always be something better for them to find in God.

Author | Cristina Rosiles

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