"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
1 Thess. 5:11
How would you characterize your relationships? Have you grown spiritually over the past years as a result of them? Have you drawn closer to God as a result?
This is an important question to ask yourself because we need our relationships with others to motivate us to live in a way that pleases God. We are affected emotionally, and spiritually, by the company we keep.
Although we may have our own bibles to read, God has instituted a thing called 'Fellowship'. It is simply engaging with others who share your belief system, and who agree with your lifestyle. As a result, you are able to share the truths and vital conversation that will strengthen your faith in God. If you have ever experienced 'True' fellowship, and the benefits of if, you wouldn't accept anything less.
There is a difference between 'Socializing' and 'Fellowship'. Socializing consists of people getting together and having conversations and exchanges, generally speaking. With Fellowship, there's a different element that takes place that merely socializing can't achieve. Fellowship involves exchange about what's important to God. That type of exchange is powerful, and it can have a life changing affect on those involved.
It is so important that we get from one rung of the ladder to the other. Just imagine, if two or more persons fellowshipped with you during the week, how much momentum you could achieve spiritually. The challenges you're facing or the trials of your faith would be easier to bear up under when you are being edified or built up in the faith. This was God's whole idea. Besides reading our own bibles and praying, we need the additional exchange that brings us into the spotlight with one another in a personal and informal way. Fellowship provides the support and encouragement we need to persevere. It helps to reinforce God's word. It strengthens and lifts us up when we're discouraged.
It is easier to remain in a comfort zone when it comes to relationships and easier to just simply socialize and hang out enjoying the laughter and the fun and ease of it all, but your spiritual life needs and deserves so much more!
So...question your relationships and interactions with others! Don't be afraid to face the truth about where they rank because it's your own well being at stake. You want to be steadily growing and learning and flourishing as a Christian. Without the proper spiritual growth and expansion, you will become stagnate and you won't have anything to offer to others.
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