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Gospel Bandaids

yesterday in our staff prayer meeting one of our college staffers said a phrase that has stuck in my head. She was talking about some stuff from her past that still can show itself in various ways in her present day life. She acknowledged the gospel to be the answer, but then off-handedly said “I gotta make sure I don’t just slap gospel bandaids on deep wounds.”

Here is why that hit me. My full-time salary paying job is disciple making. One of the key ground rules in disciple making is that spiritual growth is not formulaic. By that I mean you cannot just plug-n-play a set of steps and poof out pops the apostle Paul.

While I know that, recently God has given our church a really strong season of gospel-centered discipleship. We are learning what it means to dig to the root of our problems, evaluate them in light of the cross and resurrection, then seek change. While I believe in the gospel does change, I have to guard myself against making it into the latest “formula.”

People are people. they have real problems and real baggage. I cannot just say some pithy “hey just believe the gospel & it will all be ok” to the guy in my small group whose father-in-law was just diagnosed with cancer. I’ve got to roll up my sleeves and serve that family. And speak gospel words IN THE CONTEXT of good relational care.

So as you learn and dwell in the deep waters of the gospel, don’t forget people need to hear what you are learning in the context of a close friendship. The gospel is far more than a bandaid, so use it well!

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