This is the third installment of our discussion with my book, Sonshift: Everything Changes in the Father’s Embrace.” This week, we’ll start looking at chapter three titled, “Disciple Shift.” Since this chapter includes a wider range of topics I will cover it in two parts.
Again, I invite you to respond to some or all of these questions, or give additional comments on the chapter that my questions don’t address. My only rules are that you’ve actually read the chapter and that your answers are brief. Okay, off we go!
Chapter Three: Disciple Shift (part one)
I define Disciple Shift as our entering into a cooperative journey of discovery and transformation with God. It’s about leaving a transactional relationship where we relate to God according to our own faulty reflection, to where we allow Him to walk right in the middle of our deepest darkness and pain and transform us so that we see Him, ourselves, and others the same way He sees us. Here’s how I start the chapter:
When we first come to God, we don’t see Him as He truly is. We see Him as we think He should be.
We’re really only looking at an image of ourselves. We see Him as the God of our dreams who has come to rescue us, but not as He really is. Like Narcissus of Greek mythology, our heart is steadfastly fixed on our own reflection that defines everything we do and everything we think God should be in our lives. We are powerless to break this self-absorbed gaze by ourselves. Only Christ can free us from our reflected selves.
It’s not that we haven’t truly come to Christ in this state, we have. But the only image we can see of Him is according to what we need Him to be for us. This is not intentional on our part; it’s the way we’ve seen everything in our life up to this point.
And God is very kind and patient on His part to meet us here in this place. (Sonshift, p. 65-66)
I talk more about this in my blog post, “Christ must free us from our reflected selves.”
- Can you relate to how we first come to Christ, not as He is, but as you thought He should be? What might be the pitfalls of not progressing beyond this point with Christ?
- What does discipleship being about discovery and transformation mean to you? Why is this more important than just gaining Bible knowledge?
- What do you think about the author’s point that “Sin is just a behavioral symptom of something much deeper and more hidden from us”?
- How would you summarize the subsection titled, “What Are We being Freed From?” (p.68-69, Kindle loc. 1022-1049).
- Can you relate to Maureen’s analogy, “The Decorator is Here!” How so?
- Can you relate to the “Muddle in the Middle” mid-life crisis with God? (p.70-73, Kindle loc. 1098-1119) Did you, or someone you know, experience this? In your own words, briefly explain why it would be dangerous not to successfully navigate this crisis of faith?
Part two next time!
Again, you can comment on all or just some of the questions. If these questions didn’t address something you think is important, please add it in your comments. If you would like to make any comments offline, please email me at email@example.com. Thank you!
Now, it’s your turn!