“And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ's full stature.” (Ephesians 4:13 TEV)
When I played golf, I thought I was doing pretty well just to get the ball somewhere on the putting green.
The truth be told, my main goal was to reach the green without majorly embarrassing myself, so I was satisfied even when my ball made it somewhere near the fringes.
One day a local golf pro told me that the key difference between an average golfer and one who is excellent is this: The truly great players shoot for the hole, not somewhere near the hole or somewhere on the green. They aim directly for the hole.
He told me, “You should make the hole your goal.” My intelligent, thoughtful response was, “Yeah, right! That’ll be the day.”
I didn’t think I’d ever be able to hit the hole, so I didn’t even try. The reason so many of us get stuck, unable to move deeper into intimacy with God is because we don’t think it’s truly possible, at least for us. And so we don’t even try.
But it is possible to mature, “reaching to the very height of Christ's full stature.” We need to practice at it, and that’s called discipleship. We need to help each other grow, and that’s why we have small groups.
But the good news is this: God himself is working within us, bringing us into alignment with the very image of Jesus. This year, aim for Jesus and not just the fringes of faith.
Jon Walker’s new book, In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work “Life Together,” is a study of small group life.
Jon is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship.” This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.