I’ll never forget the day we lost Jamy.
I was 7 years old, and my sister Jamy was 5. We were out shopping with my father at a local outdoor market. I was very good at following my dad and keeping him in my sights. He would never get more than three strides ahead of me. I prided myself on how closely I was able to follow him.
About 30 minutes into shopping, my sister was gone. My dad and I (following closely) began looking for Jamy. After about 20 minutes, we found her hanging out eating donuts with one of the vendors and a police officer. She seemed pretty content with the situation and not very rattled at all. We went home and immediately told our mom. Dad is still paying for it today.
I followed my dad very closely and was in step with him without a doubt. I knew if I lost him it would be bad. I might never see him or my family again.
But, what about Jamy?
Maybe she wasn’t fast enough or didn’t understand the consequence of getting lost? Maybe, just maybe, she couldn’t even see my dad. I might have been the only one she could follow. I was so focused on keeping up that I lost track of the one following me.
Like I closely followed my dad, we work hard to follow Christ. We understand the consequence of not being close to Him, but what about those who can’t see far enough to see Him? They can only see us. Our spiritual growth depends on us helping them — keeping an eye on Christ and our brothers and sisters.
This is not a “you better come to church” eye, pushing and guilting them, but rather a pulling or encouraging nature. Let me explain. God’s word in Hebrews 8 tells us that the Lord is going (past then, but present now) to make a new covenant with His people. His past covenant was based on statutes and very limited understanding. God took them by the hand and basically dragged them out of Egypt to the promised land. Leading them by a cloud, fire, and a bunch of rules. His new, glorious covenant is a covenant based on principles of love. Anyone who gives their life to Jesus Christ will have His laws in their (our) hearts. They’ll understand the benefits and want to serve Him. We can have a direct connection with Him through His Spirit guiding us rather than Him dragging us.
I can experience spiritual growth with just me and the Lord, but what about the necessary added blessing to do it together by encouraging each other to follow Christ?
Author Simon Sinek gives these two great quotes in his book “Together Is Better.”
“Failure we can do alone. Success always takes help.”
“The true value of a leader is not measured by the work they do. The true value of a leader is measured by the work they inspire others to do.”
In the song “A Higher Spiritual Mind” we are encouraged to eat on the summit — not by ourselves, but with each other and Jesus Christ. Spiritual growth is not just about me. It is about we. When we are spiritually growing and encouraging each other together, we will succeed. Fourth Nephi. Check it out. They were a pretty happy people.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.