Living Dog Church

After study yesterday, St. told me about his new-Christian frustrations. He feels he can’t learn fast enough, and he can’t remember the things he should. He better get used to the feeling – I don’t think it ever goes away. But he’s excited and he’s working hard. He won’t take my money, and he doesn’t spare his own time and comfort (it takes him about 50 minutes to get here everyday – another 50 back). Today we’re supposed to go talk to a realtor about finding a place for our Bible study to meet.

His frustrations remind me of Ecclesiastes 9:4, “For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.” One thing that St.’s got right now is something many his betters according to knowledge and experience lack: passion. It is at this stage of newfound faith that no sacrifice seems too great, no demand too unreasonable. I tried to explain to St. that, like a newborn, he’s got a lot of growing to do. He may not measure up to some of the lions of the faith right now, but he’s got hope! Because he’s alive! Because he’s got passion! I’d rather have St. than a Christian that’s so mature, so intelligent, and so learned, that they’ve grown into a lion – and died. Living dogs can change the world; dead lions can stink up a church.

My mentor used to teach us about “double vision.” A discipler has to see those he leads for what they are, and what they can be through the power of God. Those words have never meant more than they do now. The path to maturity for one of these believers seems so long, not too mention the path to a movement in this country. I told St. last night that I really believed God could use him in a great way. First time he’d ever heard that before! Pray for him, that he’ll grow, but not out of his passion. Pray for more like him, that they will be the seeds of a great army. Pray for me to have a permanent double vision.

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