Posted on May 9, 2013
John 16:12 says, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” I find this verse fascinating. Not because Jesus has secrets He won’t tell us but because of the reason He waits to tell us. In His words, it is because what He has to say we don’t yet have the capacity to receive.
Wow! What a gracious, wise, and loving perspective. Someone might conclude that God is holding powerful truth hostage; however, I see it as a loving parent knowing our level of maturity to actually live with that level of truth.
Think about this in terms of making disciples. There are levels of responsibility and maturity that we cannot “put on” people even though technically it is a Christian virtue of purity and holiness. I’m not suggesting lowering the standard of holiness, I’m saying character is grown like a garden, not assembled like a product. No one would build a tree house on a tree that was a sapling. Nor do we expect a new-born to drive an automobile. We must learn to recognize a person’s place of maturity, and support them continuing to grow into the mature expression of Christ in them, the hope of glory.
While a person may be an adult physically, that does not necessarily guarantee they can process the same level of spiritual nourishment a more mature believer can easily digest and demonstrate. And any frustration with that process doesn’t make the process go faster, it actually slows it down. Now, new disciples are feeling the pressure of expectation without the internal structure to know how to demonstrate what has now become externally required rather than internally nurtured.
The heart of this post is to remind us of the value of process in people’s lives. Not a process of becoming someone valuable, but a process of discovering how valuable you have always been. The deeper that conviction goes the more our outward lives change. However, if we are convinced that our value is based on what we can produce or what others applaud, there will never be enough production or applause to satisfy that misplaced desire. So let’s slow down. Let patience do His work in us and through us. Let’s be willing to give people room to breathe and aid them in Biblically discovering who Jesus is for them and in them. After all, this is the most incredible news in the universe and many have yet to hear it!