Are you trying to live a Christian life on your own? Steph talks about the importance of participating in the Christian community, and why we need to support one another.
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A Treasured Friendship
Our friendship goes back approximately seven years when I attended the birth of her son. (At that time, I was a doula-in-training.)
Since then I have seen her go through a divorce, the sale of her house, and the challenge of starting and running a home daycare.
Despite our best-laid plans, we haven’t gotten together as regularly as we would have liked.
Back in the spring, I came across Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Bible Study and the corresponding Facebook group. Together, members encourage one another to live a clutter-free life.
More recently, I began to study the book Kathi co-wrote with Cheri Gregory. The book is called Overwhelmed and I’m sure many of you can relate. One of the things Kathi promotes is developing a routine that works for you, a routine that allows you to accomplish those things that are truly important.
Getting together with my friend today, and another young friend for supper on Monday evening, is important. Doing so regularly is something I would like to add to my routine.
Are You Active In The Christian Community?
God created us for community and tending to our friendships is a good way to nurture community and bless others.
And what about the community of believers the Lord has called us to?
Are we playing an active role in our church fellowship? Are we developing authentic relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we aware of and seeking to live out the many “one anothers” in the New Testament?
We are to “live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16 ESV). We are not to “pass judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13 ESV). We are to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2 ESV). We are to be kind and forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32 ESV).
And, of course, we have Jesus’s imperative in John 13:34, which say, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
These are only a few of the directives we are given throughout the Scriptures we are to live out in the Christian community. It doesn’t take long to read these every “one another” verse, but it takes a lifetime to live them out.
We Are Meant For Fellowship
As my pastor has emphasized lately we can’t walk in obedience to the Lord if we think we can live the Christian life on our own. We are meant for fellowship. We are meant to come alongside brothers and sisters in Christ, to work together to further the kingdom of God.
And we are meant to develop deep, lasting friendships.
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (ESV).
Are you this kind of friend? Do you seek to love at all times? And whether related by blood or not, do you stand with those the Lord has brought into your life when things are going well for them and when they’re not?
While we can’t spread ourselves too thin—and shouldn’t take on responsibilities God hasn’t called us to—if we want to be the kind of friend and brother spoken of in Proverbs 17:17, it will take time, energy, and effort on our part.
Take Part In The Christian Community
Will we be sensitive to the needs of those around us this day?
Will we re-evaluate our To Do list and make time to nurture our relationships?
Will we recognize our own need of community—and our own responsibility to do our part in that community?
For further study, I encourage you to type “one another” into a site like http://www.biblegateway.com and explore the passages throughout the New Testament that instructs us how to nurture our friendships and build the Christian community.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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