As disciplers, we prefer that people only pick up and pass on our strengths. But those we disciple are not immune to the contagion of our weaknesses. How can we avoid passing along weaknesses instead of strengths?
First, we need to recognize that our own sin struggles affect our discipling relationships. We need the insight and perspective of mature believers to help us see these blind spots. As we talk honestly about our sin with trusted friends, we’ll be less likely to multiply those weaknesses in others.
Second, we need to examine our own spiritual lineage. Just like animals in the natural world “reproduce after their own kind,” we’ll likely disciple in a manner similar to the guidance we’ve received ourselves. Are we passing along any weaknesses that someone passed on to us? Is there a fundamental spiritual element that was not taught to us that we need to be sure we cover with others?
Finally, our discipleship style will be influenced by our spiritual gifts and personality. We naturally focus on certain areas—Scripture memory, prayer, exhortation—over others. By all means, we should use our gifts, but we also don’t want others to think we’re omnicompetent. We must be mindful of areas we might overlook and encourage our friends to seek help from others when needed.