As we have been seeing, fellowship should be prized. So anything that can damage it we want to avoid. Some things are fairly obvious, like anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness and conflict. But there could be others.
- What about exclusion, where someone feels they don’t belong or there is some form of prejudice existing?
- What about a lack of acceptance, where we have been so judgemental or condemning the other person is bound to turn away?
- What about a lack of authenticity, where the relationship is so phony that the other person sees right through us and knows we really don’t care?
- And finally, what about a lack of confrontation where we prefer to sweep things under the carpet rather than dealing with them? That one is so common. Or we go to the other extreme and do confront but so vigorously we rupture the fellowship between us.
Today, think about how you approach your relationships. We can be strong, weak, real or counterfeit. Ask God to help you see where you are and to give you the strength to make real change. There may be a need to share this with others and to work and pray together to resolve differences in your lives.
April 4, 2014 at 12:21 am
I am in total agreement with placing a high value on fellowship. There can be no fellowship without relationship. Both are essential ingredients. The value we place on relationships is also communicated by the effort and sacrifice we are willing to make to protect and preserve these relationships.
However, we have no control over the feelings that other people and their perception of situations. If feelings or perceptions are the dominant criteria for determining the quality of relationships, then relationships and by extension fellowships will be strained if one person is not in agreement with the feelings and perceptions of the other person.
A general example is if one person in a relationship has excluded themselves from a relationship based on feelings or perceptions, especially for a lengthy period of time. This relationship will be difficult to restore unless there is a willingness to confront these feelings and perceptions to see if they valid.
From my experience, with family and friends, it is very difficult to maintain healthy relationships with persons who depend heavily on feelings and perceptions. These change so fast, as the wind blows they say by some people in Trinidad, that it is prudent to use the approach of watchful waiting. At this point I rely on prayers.
April 4, 2014 at 9:10 am
Really experienced fellowship in a practical way over the past few days as our family grieved over the loss of our mom, we saw how our friends from Westside just rallied around us and shared our grief. May God richly bless everyone who called, visited, emailed, texted. Have a blessed day.