Friday, September 25, 2015

More Than Principles

Following Jesus is More Than Applying Principles by Jeff Clarke
Being a Christian is less about looking for ways to mechanically apply practical ideas and principles to ones life and more about becoming a living embodiment of the One we’re trying to follow.
The ancient art of apprenticeship communicates just that. As Jeff Goins wrote in a recent blog post, apprenticeship in ancient times wasn’t a two-week or two-month process, but a totally immersive process where the student at times actually lived in the same house as the teacher – absorbing their ideas, watching their every move, listening to their every word.
As it relates to Christian apprenticeship, following Jesus is less concerned with looking for ways to add his principles to one’s life and more about modeling our Teacher as a way of life.
While we may start out following Jesus along pragmatic lines as we look for concrete situations into which we can apply Jesus’ teachings, the process needs to grow into a more natural outflow of one’s total life, rather than a mechanistic, almost robotic like, application of principles.
  • The former feels like we’re trying to add something to life from the outside-in. The latter flows naturally from the inside-out.
  • The former follows only for pragmatic reasons. The latter is an expression of life.
  • The former doesn’t require relationship. The latter assumes it.
  • The former views principles as good things that will make life better – as in good advice. The latter views the story of Jesus as good news that changes the very course of one’s entire life.
  • The former picks and chooses principles based on personal preference. The latter sees the entire Jesus-story as an all-encompassing, ethos-shaping lifestyle.
  • The former can lead to moralism that demands we follow a system of rules and obligations. The latter leads to adopting a posture of grace and mercy towards oneself and others.
Discipleship is First and Foremost About Being – Not Doing
Discipleship is first and foremost about being. It is an identity we embrace and become. It is an active and ongoing participation with Christ in his life, death and resurrection, in the power of the Holy Spirit. It has never been something we add to our life as a periphery item, but something that defines the very essence of who we are as Christ-followers...
Read the rest at the link.