There are 5 conversations that will determine our success and effectiveness in life. So we need to identify those conversations, get better at having them, and have them often. Part 1 examined two chats with the person in the mirror. If those weren’t challenging enough, try the next three!
Conversations & Generations
Self-examination is an essential life skill. But how do we learn that skill? There are three ways. First, we should learn it in our homes. And I realize that is the ideal setting. Parents are God’s teachers. Parents must have those self-examination conversations, AND teach their children the value of ‘talking’ with the person in the mirror.
What about those followers of Christ who did not have Godly parents? A second way to learn how to have these conversation is trial and error. Mistakes can teach effectively. But we can get a few bruises in the classroom of experience. And we all know life has enough of those without us looking for more!
And the third way we can learn leads us to the fourth conversation we must have.
Conversations and Mission
This question is not about ministering in another neighborhood or in another country. It is the Why? question we must get used to asking. And it connects to so much of who we are and what we do. Just a short list gives a sufficient illustration. We should ask Why…
- Am I here?
- Do I do what I do?
- Is this done in this way?
The life of a believer is one of mission. We are a company of sent ones. The proofs are abundant. But two will make the point effectively. John 20:21 is the first:
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
This is the big picture of Jesus sending us. As He was sent is the key. He was sent to represent His Father to the world. His life was lived in adherence to His Father’s purposes. By definition that is mission. So whatever we see Jesus doing on the pages of Scripture is what we are to be doing. And a little more specific insight is found in another familiar passage:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…
Jesus was sent. We are sent. Jesus made disciples. We should make disciples. Part of making disciples is learning to have these vital conversations. That why believers should not be left to learn from experience or trial-and-error. Every believer should have a more maturing believer teaching them how to live according to the purposes of Christ.
This mission reference to life answers all the Why? questions. Understanding mission allows us to understand our purpose and why things need to be done in certain ways. But there is a fifth conversation.
Conversations and Care
What is a conversation about care? It’s a conversation about something much bigger than our usual view of stewardship. We like neat, quick, and compartmentalized definitions. Therefore when stewardship comes up, we quickly assign that word to money. And that’s a bit like thinking the only part of an iceberg is the part above the water!
God expects us to care for everything we have been given. Now, here is a huge question:
What, and how much, have we been given?
The answers are almost endless. But it’s safe to say the following list is included:
- Family (children are God’s gift – not accidental family members)
- Spouse (covenant relationship joined by God – are we good stewards?)
- Children (God’s gift – see above)
- Mission (God given purpose for abundant life)
- Resources (these are given, too – and listed last on purpose)
And the very idea of stewardship is caring for that which belongs to Another. So asking ourselves, How am I doing as a steward? is a great conversation to have with ourselves, our families, and those we are teaching. And this is one of the conversations we must teach them to have.