Sometimes we can grow tired of discipling people. It’s hard work! It involves many meetings, phone calls, listening to problems and offering counsel. It can be draining when your disciples ignore your advice or make bad choices. How do you stay motivated to keep investing in them?
Paul had a secret. He loved his disciples as if they were his own children. He told the Thessalonians: “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8). The word “dear” means “beloved”—and the Greek word means “favorite.” Paul had such an intense, godly love for those he mentored that he carried them in his heart. When you have this kind of warm, God-sized love for those you are discipling, you’ll never give up on them. You’ll keep pouring into them and patiently praying for them until they are spiritually mature.