I trust that by this stage of the year, everyone will know that this is our “Year of Discipleship”. I urge you to take 20 minutes this week to find a quiet spot and with pencil and paper consider what you have learned about being a disciple. Consider whether the people closest to you would see you growing as a disciple. Why or why wouldn’t they see this? Write a brief response to these thoughts. Write down any gains you have made and thank God for them.

As you make this self-assessment, consider the huge demands that Paul (and therefore Jesus) made on the wronged slave owner, Philemon. What a change he would have to make to consider his runaway slave as a brother and to forgive and love him. Sometimes discipleship is not easy. But God promises this is the way to true, genuine life. Let’s not be content with anything less.