Recap: “I Don’t Know the Difference”

On Facebook live, we had a konversation that was inspired by a scene in the movie “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel.” In the scene, Twinkie Clark had a dialogue with her mother regarding her decision to move with her new husband and leave the group. Twinkie felt that up to that point, everything she did was for the group and to please her mother. Her mother told her that she should be aiming to please the Lord. Twinkie’s response was “I don’t know the difference.”

Here are a few points we discussed during the konversation regarding life decisions and our relationship with parents and leadership.

Parents are the first people who are responsible for making decisions for us. When is it appropriate for the child to begin to take some of that responsibility and develop decision making skills?

It is important for parents to take the time to build up decision making skills in their child, so that they aren’t naive once they receive their independence.

While a child is learning how to make decisions, if they make a mistake, supporting them and helping them learn from it will produce more positive outcomes than reprimanding them to a point of shame.

The same can be applied to an adult in a subordinate position with leadership.

Lead Them to God

When in a leadership or influential position in someone’s life, it is important to give your disciple the space to establish their identity and autonomy when it comes to their decisions. While you impart wisdom and guidance, they should always be led back to God for the final directive.

Growing up in Christian households, many of us were required to go to church and participate in the youth department without protest. We simply didn’t have a choice! But once you get out on your own, you begin to realize that following God is a choice we have to make for ourselves.

A Mutually Beneficial Arrangement

In terms of mentorship and leader/follower relationships, it is important for the follower or mentee to be discipled while they serve. The relationship should be equally beneficial for both parties. The goal should be to help cultivate the gifts, talents and skills of the mentee/ follower, by giving them access to the leader’s life and responsibilities for the sake of learning. When there is a lack of balance in a leader/follower relationship, the follower can get burnt out. Serving to what appears to be a dead end can be disheartening for the follower. The pain of depletion can cause us to leave a place or assignment before it’s time, or under the wrong circumstances.

Lead and Teach

If we look at the example of Jesus and the disciples, Peter particularly, we see that Jesus did not expect perfection as they followed him. Peter chopped a man’s ear off because he didn’t want Jesus to be captured by those trying to kill him. Instead of Jesus kicking Peter out of the group, he healed the man’s ear. Jesus taught and led by example, so that when he left, the disciples were equipped to carry out their own ministries. It does not mean that Jesus was never disappointed in their actions, but when they failed, he taught them what they needed to know to succeed in the future.

How Do We Deal?

As people, we have to be discerning and able to identify the thin line between being obedient to parents and leaders and pleasing man. We must establish our own relationship with the Lord so that we are able to follow Him, first and foremost. When you are aware of God’s plan and purpose for your life, you will be able to see whether or not what someone is asking you to do will serve to prepare you for what’s next.

Share your thoughts on this in the comments!

To view the live Facebook broadcast or listen to the podcast go here:

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