Investing in discipleship takes time, and many of us are struggling for time to simply complete each task of the day. From my own personal experience, I don’t have as much time to invest in personal discipleship as I did during my college years. Since I was going to a Bible college, I was constantly being poured into and taught new information about the Bible, yet now that I’ve graduated from both undergrad and graduate school, I no longer have that same discipleship that I previously experienced. Similar to most adults, I have multiple jobs and daily life responsibilities, which take up a lot of time. Even though we are drowned in things to do each day, we need to ensure we take time to invest in discipleship.
Here are five signs that you need to invest more in discipleship:
1. You’re Being Self-Absorbed
The first sign that you need to invest more in discipleship is if you’re being self-absorbed. While it is never a nice thing to think of ourselves as being self-absorbed, awareness is key. Once we can acknowledge that we are acting in this manner, we will be able to take the correct steps to change. If we are being self-absorbed, it is a good indication that we need to invest more in discipleship. When we invest more in discipleship, we are going to start investing our lives into other people’s lives. In other words, rather than being self-absorbed or self-focused, we will become others-focused and God-focused.
While it is common for all people to become self-absorbed at times, we have to actively go against this temptation. We should never place our own interests over others. Paul tells us, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:1-4). As Paul explains, we need to look to the interests of others—not our own.
Living a life of being self-absorbed shows us that our top priority is ourselves rather than God and other people. If you are honest with yourself and know that you have been struggling with being self-absorbed, ask God for help and begin to start investing more time in discipleship. Various ways you can invest in discipleship can be by going to church, fellowshipping with other believers, praying to God, reading the Bible, applying the Bible’s teachings to your life, and getting involved with a ministry.
2. You’re Not Going to Church
A second sign that you need to invest more in discipleship is if you’re not going to church. While going to church is not required for salvation, church is a great place to go to experience discipleship. Sometimes time doesn’t allow us to go to every Sunday service or every church event, but we should try our best to make it to church every Sunday and to be involved with our local church. Church is one of the main places where the Word can be poured into our souls and we can fellowship with other believers. We should never overlook the importance of church in our own personal discipleship.
There are many places we could spend our Sunday mornings, but it is more beneficial to our own Christian walk and Christian growth that we go to church on Sunday mornings. If you have found that you are not attending church regularly or not going at all, try to invest more in discipleship. A great way for you to invest in discipleship if you’re not going to church is to start going to church. Through going to church, you will be able to hear God speak to you through the sermon, you will be able to fellowship with other believers, and you will be able to worship God in a safe place.
3. You’re Not Living a Moral Lifestyle
A third sign that you need to invest more in discipleship–having someone disciple you, not you disciple someone else–is if you’re not living a moral lifestyle. If you’re not living a moral lifestyle, it is a safe bet to say you are not living as God commands us to live. If we live an immoral lifestyle that paints a negative picture of Christ, how are we accurately displaying Christ to the lost world? If you’re living an immoral lifestyle, it is time to invest in more discipleship. While it is hard to admit when we are actively living in sin, it is crucial to healing and Christian growth to admit it and begin to make changes to our lives.
The Holy Spirit will convict us if we are living a lifestyle of sin, but if we keep ignoring Him, our hearts will become calloused to His conviction. If you have noticed this in your own life, you need to turn back to God and ask for His help. The Lord will help you and direct you to the right paths of obedience to Him. Living an immoral lifestyle tells us directly that we need to invest more in discipleship. If we invest more in discipleship, we will be able to leave our past immoral lives behind and begin living a life of Christian growth, development, and love.
4. You’re Not Sharing the Gospel
A fourth sign that you need to invest more in discipleship is if you’re not sharing the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel can be hard for any of us, but Jesus specifically commands us to share the Gospel (Matthew 28:17-20). To not share the Gospel is to disobey God. If we are not sharing the Gospel, it is a good sign that we need to invest more in discipleship. By investing more time in discipleship, we will be able to feel more equipped to share the Gospel.
Investing in discipleship helps us in many ways. Christian development, growth, and character will all result from investing more in discipleship. If you have found that you are not sharing the Gospel, try to talk with your pastor or another spiritual leader in your life, who can help disciple you and help cultivate your Christian walk. It is always important to have a Christian mentor, who helps and challenges us in our daily life to follow Jesus and obey His teachings.
5. You’re Judging Others
A fifth sign you need to invest more in discipleship is if you’re judging others. The Bible condemns judging others (Matthew 7:1-2). If we are judging others, it’s normally because we see ourselves as being better or superior to our fellow Christian. It is best to avoid taking this mentality because we are all equal. If we are judging others, it is a sign that we need to invest in more discipleship because if we were faithfully following Jesus, we wouldn’t be judging others.
Investing in discipleship will take time, but it is worth it. Whenever we start thinking we are better than another person or we start judging them, it shows a lack of discipleship on our part. Rather than judging others, we should extend love, kindness, and compassion. Discipled believers would show love and kindness rather than judgment and hate. If you have found that you have been judging others, take some time to invest more in discipleship by meeting with other believers, praying, and reading the Bible.
Photo Credit: ©Joel Muniz/Unsplash
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.