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I was told when I first decided to give my life to Christ the bad news, that I would lose some friends. But, I was also told I would gain friends as well. This is exactly what I have seen happen throughout time. Sad to say, I have lost many friends. I have gained some lifelong friends who are like minded, in the process of losing others.

It was hard losing those friends I thought I was so close to. Every friend that I have made since that time have the same universal experience as I. But, there is something that I have found even harder than losing those I knew before coming to Christ.

Occasionally I will make a new friend with a brother in Christ. We seem like minded. But, as time passes, I find that slowly; just like some of the friends I used to have, a distance grows within these friendships as well. As I grow in Christ and become more focused on the Word of God, only a few encourage and follow the same path. I guess you could say that when not willing to go against God’s Word, even for a friend, I have not much worldly good as according to those who pull away.

At times this is very discouraging. The standards we as Christians, all of us as Christians, should not be our own standards, but God’s standards. Even though we strive daily to stand upon God’s standards, we will fail in some things. We will all make some mistakes. When we do, we are to pray and ask for forgiveness, and with God’s help, we are to turn from the things that make us fall.

The Bible tells us that when we see others fall; we are to rebuke and encourage, disciple and give a source of accountability. When we do this, we are not being self righteous. We are being very good friends and showing love to our brothers in Christ. A lot of times, in doing this, is taken as we are being judgmental. Many fail to remember that it is not we who are judging what wrong  is, but God who has already judged what wrong is.

The love we have been shown by Christ included doing these very things. He has rebuked us by pointing out to us, through His Word, what things we are not to do, encouraged us through the writings of Paul to continue running our race and made us accountable to Him by dying on the cross for our sins. He has shown us that we are to pray asking for forgiveness and made it clear that we are to turn from the things that pull us away from Him and return to Him.

We as Christians are to desire others, whom we know that are strong in Christ and the knowledge of His Word, to do the same for us when we fall or go against God’s standards – also without judging those who come along side us to remind us of those things God has already judged as wrong. We are not to see them as being self righteous. When we have the wrong mindset when others rebuke us, we come across as seemingly being so self righteous ourselves for anyone to point these things out to us – and it ruins otherwise lifelong friendships.

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