People change very little unless they’re disrupted, unless something or someone shakes up their homeostasis. We may have ideas . . . even plans, but we rarely move until we’re stimulated. As my friend John says, “It’s not the light . . . it’s the heat that moves us!”
One way disruption comes is when we hear something someone said about us. We sense a gap between how we think of ourselves and how others see us. We’re motivated to “fix” it . . . to close the gap. Often, our first reaction is to protect ourselves by discrediting the “accuser.” Other times, we can’t deny it. We get caught . . . we have to face the fact that we’ve been lying to ourselves and others. We aren’t who we want to be. All our efforts to change have failed. It’s heartbreaking to look in the mirror and wonder “Who am I?” “How did I get here?” “Why can’t I change?”
Disruption came to Jesus’ entourage when He started talking about “drinking His blood” and “eating His flesh.” A bunch of His disciples abandoned ship. Jesus turned to the twelve and said (my words) “OK, how about you guys? Will you bolt, too?” Peter spoke up, “Where else would we go? Who else does miracles like you? Who else promises eternal life?” Faced with disruption, the twelve decided to stay. Peter went on to be one of the first leaders of the church. But he was crucified upside down because he wouldn’t deny Jesus. Choosing the right response to disruption doesn’t guarantee a great outcome to the crisis. Divorces happen, children become prodigals, friends don’t forgive, businesses go under. Surrender may not get you what you want in this life. But it does in the next.
Over the years, I’ve been present when a number of guys surrendered to Christ. In every single case (including my own), the guy turned to Jesus out of desperation after being disrupted. Not a single guy “thought” his way to salvation. A number of these guys were believers. They believed . . . they knew the “what” of the faith but they’d never met the “Who” . . . never encountered Jesus in a real and personal way. It took a big-time disruption to bring them to their knees. A marriage crisis, a business failure, a health issue, a death, a kid in trouble . . . these are the disruptions that genuinely bring us to our knees for the first time . . . when we realize we can’t control the outcome. We need help. We need God.
When disruption hits, there are several ways to respond. You can run, choose denial, ignore the gap and pretend you’re OK. You can play the “blame game” and attack the source of the disruption, be it another person, the circumstances, or God. Or you can decide to stick, to (finally) surrender. To take responsibility, ask forgiveness, give everything over to the Lord and start a new life in Him. That’s the best choice . . . really the only choice. Just like the disciples, we really have no other place to go.
Scripture: Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)
Mentor Tip: As a mentor, my goal is to love and serve my guys. Not everyone will be all-in for Jesus, even when they graduate. A good goal is to position yourself in their lives so that when disruption hits, they’ll reach out to you and you can lead them to total surrender to our Savior.
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