I’m a private person. In the past, I’ve been guilty of dealing with tough issues (work, marriage, children, parents, fellow believers, disappointments, expectations, and sins) by MYSELF.
Occasionally, when issues get REALLY bad, I make strides in going to God and submitting to others for a while….But, I’ve struggled with having consistent, deep relationships with other believers in the body, especially other men. I can count on one hand the people I’ve let in. The fact is, I’ve been hurt, betrayed rejected and abandoned by those I trusted. But because of my pride I haven’t forgiven them completely. Currently my wife is the main person I’ve trusted to let in.
Maybe you too have remained isolated when issues arise in your job, marriage, children, parents, fellow believers, disappointments, expectations, and sins. Maybe you too haven’t completely forgiven those in the body of Christ that have hurt or disappointed you.
The truth is: We were created to be in close relationship with God
The truth is: We were created to be in close relationship with the body.
Romans 12:5(NLT) “So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts, of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
Acts 2:42– (NLT)“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper) and to prayer…47 And each day the Lord added to their Fellowshipthose who were being saved.”
I see that the church has become really good at getting together with others, sharing meals, maybe listening to a teaching, maybe taking communion, and perhaps praying. The church as a whole has become a card carrying membership and not a fellowship. Ship: old English “scipe”; as to shape, form, adjust, adopt, evolve, develop.
Independence. Independence from God and one another. Instead of being a part of the body of Christ, we have amputated ourselves…..trying to process the issues of life alone- without God, and without each other
How do we solve the problem?
Three (3) things that we can do to stay connected and become a healthy body
- SEEK parts of the body – Out of a humble heart, proactively search for someone you can intimately connect with, confide in, count on, and call out on a deeper level;
Hebrews 10:25(TPT) “This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.”
- SUBMIT to parts of the body – Out of a humble heart, willingly surrender to someone by opening up and being vulnerable. Allow them to ask the difficult questions and provide the difficult answers surrounding your marriage, children, parents, fellow believers, disappointments, expectations, and sins.
1Peter 5:5 (NKJV) “Likewise you young people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you, be submissiveto one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble””.
- SHARE with parts of the body – Out of a humble heart, deliberately and lovingly speak life to someone, including words of praise, encouragement, and correction.
Proverbs 10:11 (NLT) “The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain…”
Ephesians 4:2“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love”. Making every effort to keep yourselves unitedin the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
Misapplied: Matthew 7:1“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.”
1Cor 5:12 (TPT)“What right do I have to pronounce judgment on unbelievers? That’s’ God’s responsibility. But those who are inside the church family are our responsibility to discern and judge..”
Proverbs 17:10 (TPT)“One word of correction breaks open a teachable heart, but a fool can be corrected a hundred times and still not know what hit him.”
You and I were created to be connected to the body both physically and spiritually
When we seek out, submit to, and share with other parts of the body of Christ, we are built up and equipped to .be a unified and powerful body- able to fulfill the commandments and commission that Christ demands of the church.
I’m no authority on relationships in fact I’ve failed time and time again… but time and time again, the Lord has proven that He has never left me or forsaken me and neither has the church – there ARE others in the body that are also seeking, submitting to and willing to share their lives with me, so that we can edify and encourage one another.
What about you? Are you connected to the body daily or just weekly?
Are you seeking, submitting and sharing with others or are you isolated and independent of God and others? Do you have someone that you open up to and are vulnerable with or are you avoiding issues?
Is someone encouraging, challenging and correcting so that you can be the healthiest you?