Mar20WedMarch 20, 2019
In the final chapter of How to Grow, author Darryl Dash gives an impassioned plea for disciples to commit to invest in others as they—and we—are continuing to grow. The title of the chapter says it all: “Pursue Growth Together: Our Call to disciple Others.”
Early in the chapter Dash runs headlong into two lies that people believe in regards to investing in others that might discourage them from pursuing growth with other people. The two lies are 1) “Nobody’s watching” and 2) “our lives are too ordinary to make a difference.” Dash spends a couple early pages in the chapter dispelling these notions.
In regards to the first lie—that nobody’s watching—Dash rightly contradicts the falsehood with two, blunt words: “They are.” People are watching. I cannot agree with him more when he writes, “You are shaping the people around you more than you realize. Never give into the lie that you’re too invisible to shape the lives of others. You’re already influencing people more than you know.”
Maybe the best example of this is children. We see their parents in their mannerisms and idiosyncrasies. It’s like they’re method actors who immerse themselves in the lives of those they intend to portray in order to deliver a compelling performance. And that’s the point; children watch their parents even when parents don’t realize they’re being observed. The same holds true for those we come in contact with outside of the family circle. People are watching us. They are. So we need to reject the lie (or is it an excuse?) that may encourage us to downplay our own influence and thus the importance of being intentional about pursuing growth together.
In regards to the second lie—that we are too ordinary to make a difference—Dash notes that it is generally not the super-talented or intellectual giants who shape our lives. Rather, it is the amazingly ordinary people who share our lives with us who have the biggest impact our growth. Dash summarizes, “The people who change us the most aren’t the extraordinary gifted, but those who have done little and mostly unnoticed things over a long period of time.”
Again, dash is right on the money. The people who have aided my growth and been catalyst for godly change in my life are the ones who have used their unspectacular gifts (yet spectacular in my eyes) faithfully over long periods of time to help me. I’ll take an ordinary Joe who is faithful and committed over a jazzy-snazzy, super-talented, here-today-gone-tomorrow types on every day that ends in “y”. There is one exception: my wife. She actually is the cream of the crop and she has influenced me more than anyone else. But she’s the exception that proves the rule!
Dash ends this section of chapter 9 with more admonishing encouragement,
Your life matters. Your imperfect, routine, struggle-filled life is a gift. As you do ordinary things over a long period of time and grow in your obedience to God, your life will change the lives of others. If you're worried that you're too imperfect and broken, then under- stand that God will likely use your imperfections and brokenness more than your strengths. God isn't lacking in the perfection department; He doesn't need our perfection to help Him out. Instead, He uses our imperfect pursuit of His perfection as an example for others. As others watch you follow Him in your broken life, they’ll learn how to follow Him in their broken lives too. Don't wait. Don't think you have to be perfect before you start. You're already impacting others. Be intentional about it. Resolve to not just be a disciple, be a disciple-maker, starting today.
Don’t believe the lies; they only lead to personal stagnation … not to mention to do so would be to choose unfaithfulness to our call as disciples. Instead, let’s pursue growth biblically which includes doing so in the company of others. It’s how we grow.