Diatribo: breaking in our sandals together

Shoes and time spent

Diatribo means, literally, to wear through leather. It’s like the way you break in a pair of sandals until they feel like an extension of your own feet. It's like breaking in a pair of Chacos. At first, the sandals hurt. You have to live in them for a while before your feet feel at home. But once they are broken in, they are amazing.

Diatribo is the ancient word used in John 3:22 where it says Jesus "spent some time" with the disciples. It describes extended and intentional time together (about 4-7 months) when they "broke in" their relationship as rabbi and disciples. As with your favorite sandals, Jesus took time to break in his disciplemaking relationships and bring them to a sweet spot.

Diatribo in the book of Acts

Here are more passages—from Acts—where the Greek diatribo appears, referring to spending extended time with others. I invite you to haver these passages with a couple of friends and discover what truths emerge.

Acts 12:19

Acts 14:3

Acts 14:28

Acts 15:35

Acts 16:12

Acts 20:6

Acts 25:6

Acts 25:14

So what would it look like for us, as modern-day disciplemakers to diatribo the leather in our Bibles? What if we could break them in together, sharing life and Jesus with one another?

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