Guilty as charged. I have so often recommended a book to someone because I think they need what the book has to offer. I’ll bet you’ve done it too. But I don’t just stop at books; I offer sermon audio files and songs and blogs… And let me say that when a lot of your friends (plus your hubby) work a lot or are in graduate school where their time is mostly spoken for, the last thing they want to do is sit for an hour and listen to a speaker talk about what you think they need to know.
Guilty as charged.
Now, I’m not saying that my friends haven’t benefitted from the ‘wisdom’ I’ve offered. But I think what I need to learn better is that my friends (and husband) don’t need another book telling them how to live or how they could be making the most of their relationships; rather, they need me to be their friend (or, in one special case, his wife). I’m not a book or an hour-long sermon. What my friends and husband need is for me to be Amanda, the Amanda who loves to read books and listen to sermons, the Amanda who distills what God is teaching me through all these things and shares bits and pieces in conversation, not in speeches or sermons. This is what it means to make truth incarnational. To look to Jesus to get my needs met and then to share with others how He has done that, how He has taught me to live more fully, in my own words. Not hit-and-run discipleship, which assumes that people will care about what that pastor you listened to had to say five years ago verbatim and with the poor-quality recording… No, I’m the one they care about and therefore put up with long enough to listen to. It’s a journey together, not a classroom makeover.
Am I saying that I will never offer a book, sermon, or song to you? Sorry, friends, but probably not. Thanks for your patience with me. What it does mean is that when I hear or read something that reminds me of you or encourages me to pray for you and be thankful for you, I’m not gonna throw a book at you. Sorry to those of you who have been victims of my attempts at peer H-a-R discipleship. :) I’m learning. It means that I am committing to praying through what I’ve read or heard and seeing where I need to grow and learn and then perhaps have a chance to share it with you. I’d love to sit and tell you all about it (partly because I am an external processor). But mostly I’m gonna pray for you.