What do you call a person who has been shown truth and knows the truth all their life, but lives a lie? Or a person who has been loved and forgiven yet holds a grudge or is selfish towards others? I call them “stupid”, but in Christian circles, they’re called a “Pharisee.”
Know one? So did I, when God showed me my reflection in the mirror.
I did my Discipleship Training School (DTS) in 2010 with 12 other students. And straight up, I was annoyed with them. For some, I thought they were too religious. Others, I don’t even know why they bothered coming. From the beginning, I did not want anything to do with them.I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to go home!” I kept to myself most of the time and didn’t really care much about the school. If someone asked me how my DTS was, I would tell them how other people ruined it.
Then one day, God intervened.
Our school leader was incredibly loving and patient with them. He pursued them intentionally, meeting them where they were at and never giving up on them. I had so much respect for him! As I thought back on my DTS, God reminded me of our school leader and the way he was committed to each one of us.
Then it dawned on me—I totally missed the point of what DTS is, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus!
Instead of being Jesus to others like my school leader was, I was “being myself”. I didn’t have patience, I didn’t pursue, and I gave up on my fellow students. You see, I claimed to be a disciple of Jesus, but God showed me that I was a disciple of the Pharisees—too full of themselves to care for others.
DTS is not about having a great time with new friends singing “Kumbaya.” DTS is an intense 6 months where you learn to “die to yourself “, die to the mindset that it’s all about you, and choose to be like Jesus, to be a disciple of Jesus. How can we see this? “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Although my DTS was 7 years ago, I would not trade it for another because I have never stopped learning from it. Did I say DTS is 6 months? Nah. DTS is for life—forever learning to love and to be more like Jesus. You’re either in it or out. Which one are you?
by Elisapeta Fepuleai
School of Communication & Digital Influence Student