Have you ever stopped to count all the ways your life influences the lives around you? How many people are truly in your circle of influence? There are the obvious people, your family, your friends, your coworkers, or your church group. There are the less obvious people you influence as well. The cashier as the grocery story, the teller at the bank, the waitress at the restaurant, nameless people who will only enter our lives for perhaps a few minutes or seconds. It’s truly overwhelming if you think about how many people you will come in contact with during the course of your life!
Today however, we are going hone in and focus on one specific group of relationship in your life. This in no way discounts the importance of other relationships (we will talk about those in other posts in the future, trust me! 🙂 ) So what relationship is this? Well, the relationship most often referred to as fellowship of believers in the Bible-namely your relationship with other Christians!
Hebrews 10:24-25 commands,” And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
In today’s world of countless denominations and divisions being brought to the church, it is easy to want to shy away from the church and the relationship with other believers. Churches are filled with messy people to know. So how to do we go about building God-honoring, purposeful relationships with those who share our faith?
First, we have to be right with God. Pray and ask God to open your eyes to ways that you might not be right with Him or others. Sin we have not dealt with in our lives will affect our most important relationship with God. And once that relationship is affected, all other relationships will be out of kilter as well.
Second, if God has shown you a person or persons you are not right with, go deal with that. It’s not easy but it has to be done. Most relationship problems you hear of in church are caused by pride and lack of forgiveness between two people over some (usually) minor misunderstanding. Don’t let something small grow into a big deal that could affect the whole body of believers. This doesn’t mean that you gloss over and pretend things aren’t wrong. Instead, you focus on finding ways to find peace with this person or persons through the power of the Holy Spirit helping you both.
Third, start participating in positive, powerful times of fellowship. This doesn’t mean you sign up for every single activity offered to you by your church or by your Christian friends. It means prayerfully deciding (especially with your spouse if you are married) a few places to plug yourself in on a regular basis. For myself that currently includes Sunday morning services at our church, a ever other week Bible study with Christian moms outside of my church family, and occasional Operation Christmas Child shoe box prep days with the ladies of our church. This doesn’t overcrowd my schedule to the point of burnout plus it allows me to gain closer times with those in each of my chosen activities. There are obviously more things I could be involved in but right now those are not a good fit for my life or my walk. Pray and decide where to plug yourself in at!
Don’t let negative experiences at a church or with another Christian in the past hold you back from God-designed fellowship time with other believers. Reach out to your fellow Christians, find a solid Bible-teaching church community to surround yourself with, and work to build time tested friendships that will literally go on for all eternity!
Thanks for stopping by!