Christ Centered Personal Development

This month I\’ve been taking a course on leadership and coaching styles in the athletic setting, while the focus of application may be in sports and athletics the fundamental concepts are also very informative on how the Body of Christ can build up effective and impactful leaders with a heart for God.

Looking first to the basic model for personal development we see the following process:

  • Results

  • Actions

  • Internal Dialogue

    • Automatic (emotionalism- alleviation oriented)

    • Intentional (Reason-goal oriented)

How is this represented in scripture: 

Christ gives us the following goal to pursue as the end result of working alongside Him:

  • \”Make disciples of all nations\” (Excerpt from Matthew 28:19)

    • Jesus gives us the end result of our actions, that by following the will of the Spirit we would be co-laborers with God in spreading the gospel and building up believers of every nation and tongue.

Christ also describes the basic fundamental actions we have to take to reach that goal

  • \”Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men\” (Excerpt from Matthew 4:19)

    • Jesus connects the action with the result, but what does this mean for us in the modern world. In its most basic form, We follow Christ and in doing so we make disciples of all nations. 

  • \”let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.\” (Excerpt from Matthew 5:16)

    • This scripture provides an image of the connection between following Christ and the creation of disciples. By following Christ we begin to take action, these actions draw people\’s attention to God, when their attention is drawn to God, they begin to glorify Him. This is the fundamental model for evangelism and discipleship, that through our actions others cast their hearts and eyes to God and worship Him. 

How does the Bible speak to the existence of the internal dialogue?

  • \”For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.\” (Romans 8:5)

    • This passage highlights that there are only two ways of focus within the mind of a human. Flesh oriented and Spirit oriented

  • Flesh Oriented

    • Within a flesh oriented framework people are more prone to look for solutions to symptoms of a deeper problem, for example when I am more oriented towards my flesh than the Spirit I have a tendency to view my self worth as being tied to how other people see me. In some cases a flesh oriented perspective can lead to a distorted perception of grace and blessing where an individual operates on the following mentality: I do x, therefore God will give me y. 

    • In more extreme cases I have seen myself and others lean towards an almost entirely works based understanding of Grace, even if by word there is a claim of salvation by faith. 

  • Spirit Oriented

    • Within a Spirit oriented framework the focus is not on actions or received blessings but on the deepening of a relationship with God that is only possible through faith. It is within this relationship that God works to transform us as we repent and bring our struggles before Him.

    • The Spirit oriented mindset is more concerned with giving away to others than with receiving.

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