Experiencing life together
What did I learn today? Well today’s lesson was more of a follow up from yesterday’s lesson and more of a reaffirmation that my life is meant to be shared. Even the Lord Jesus spoke of the importance of sharing and being in a group – Matt. 18 vs. 20 – for wherever two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. This is because in sharing I am able to reveal my feelings and confess my failures in an honest way. Yet this is hard. It is difficult to find groups and an atmosphere of honesty and humility as this tends to be replaced with pretending, role playing and superficial politeness. With people wearing masks and acting like all is well – but real fellowship requires openness with our lives – 1 John 1 vs. 7 – 8 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His son, purifies us from all sin.
I know I don’t want to take the risk of exposure and rejection (I mean who does), but this is the only way to grow spiritual – James 5 vs. 16b – therefore, confess your sin to each other so that you may be healed, and yet I am told that I can only grow by taking risks, with myself and with others. Sharing my life with others also helps in encouraging mine and the faith of others. In real fellowship we experience mutuality – Rom. 1 vs. 12 – that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith – Rom. 12 vs. 10 – be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourself – as I am more consistent in my faith when others walk with me and encourage me [Rom. 14 vs. 19]. I am an encouragement to others when I experience sympathy for them. By entering in and sharing the pain their pain and not some quick advice or cosmetic help; Col. 3 vs. 12 – Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility gentleness and patience . Therefore, when I understand and affirm the feeling of others, I build fellowship [Phil. 3 vs. 10; Heb. 10 vs. 33 – 34; Gal. 6 vs. 2]. And building fellowship helps in time of deep crisis, grief and doubt, because that is when I need others the most. Especially when circumstances crush to the point that my faith begins to falter, believing friends are what I need the most.
From previous experiences I could see the importance of friends in my life, and Job’s life is a typical example – Job 6 vs. 14 – A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. This is because mercy is experienced in real fellowship. Mercy is very important in my walk with God, especially when I stumble and fall, and require help getting back on track – 2 Corinth. 2 vs. 7 – Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow
To summarise – sharing my life with others will require a great deal of forgiveness [Col. 3 s. 12], as bitterness and resentment destroy fellowship. And because I am imperfect I might inevitably hurt others sometimes intentionally, some times unintentionally and each and every one of us will always have that issue to deal with – Col. 3 vs. 13 – Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive, as the Lord forgave you. Therefore as I embark on sharing my life with others, I will always bear in mind that God’s mercy to me is more than enough motivation for me to show mercy to others.