Fellowship and Personal Change
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). We had a wonderful time at the picnic yesterday. These events help create an atmosphere of unity in our church family. They help enable an atmosphere in our church body that attracts the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
There is a strength that comes from fellowship with other members of the body of Christ. We have become a culture of lonely people. And loneliness breeds dysfunction and pain. A hurt animal will isolate himself. And those dealing with emotional struggles shy away from being with the family, and keep themselves from a prime ingredient necessary for change in their lives. Truth, relationships, and time are the three necessary ingredients for change in human life. We need the truth of God’s Word confronting and challenging us; shedding light on areas of personal darkness. We also need truth with ourselves; being honest and real about things we deal with deep inside. We also need relationships with others. God create us humans to thrive best in the context of loving relationships. Relationships can bring strength, encouragement, and healing to us. Genuine close relationships sharpen us. They keep us from isolating in our personal pain and difficulty, and help strengthen us when we face the challenges of life. Those who run from relationship are avoiding a path God has created to minister to them personally. Lastly we need time to change. No change is overnight. Change is a process of confronting ourselves and allowing the Word to do its work in the context of close personal relationships. Take advantage of the rich diversity found in the body of Christ. God has an ordained strength for your life in the fellowship you allow. If you’ve been hurt by close relationships, it’s going to take time for that to heal. And you’ve going to have to be willing to open yourself us and trust again. It’s well worth the risk to open up to fellowship. And in some areas of life, the Word is hindered from producing its fruit until we get into close contact with spiritual family.