What’s in a challenge

Do you like to be challenged?
I believe that we should have friends, family, coaches, parents, siblings, girlfriends, boyfriends, bosses and pastors challenge us on a regular basis.
Cheerleading is fine for my life, but it does not stimulate growth. Now I don’t mind affirmation in my life, in fact I need it. Even though you and I need affirmation, we need challenges more.
Are your set of friends challenging you to be the best friend, worker, christian, father, sibling so on and so forth? Now I’m not talking about a daily grilling, I’m talking about healthy stimulating discourse.
If you are one of my closest friends, are you a better person for being my friend? Now when most of you stop giggling and your eyes roll back into normality, then think about the question. Is your girlfriend making you a better person? Does your coach make you a better player. Does your pastor challenge you from week to week or does he just cheer lead from the pulpit?
Now because of my job situation, I travel quite a bit which means I visit a lot of churches when I set up camp in a new town. I have the privilege of gleaning from some of God’s best. Except, I don’t always get to hear the best. Can you guess which churches I usually become a regular attender? That’s right, the pews where the pastor and his staff challenge the congregation. I also look for a good worship service. Oddly enough, the two usually go hand in hand.t025060a
Ray Edwards is a dear pastor friend of mine and he may not remember this, but the first time I ever met the man he asked me when I got saved. Are you serious? Actually I loved the question, but what a question. I surveyed my salvation the instant he asked.
The question also made me wonder if he asked for heaven’s sake, or did I walk in a way that misidentified my position with Christ.
So here is the question, does your circle of influence make you better? Iron sharpens iron, and their is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
I’ll cheer you from time to time, but I would rather see you grow than soak in the applause of mediocrity.
I challenge you to seek those that can help you grow, but also the ones that you can help grow for the kingdom.


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