The Bible is filled with Scriptures about how we should treat one another. The question is how do we treat each other at all if we don’t ever spend time with others, in fellowship with other believers to start with and then reaching out to the world? I have found myself wanted to insulate and isolate during my two weeks at home. I love going to church and seeing friends there, communicating with them and hearing what their lives are like. But the last two weeks, I have had to get my body moving forcibly to get up early and make the effort to attend. It’s a good thing that my husband doesn’t put up with slackers!
It’s hard to love one another if you never see one another, isn’t it? A phone call or a card just doesn’t make up for the personal touch that you and others need. That listening ear that you offer so freely also goes along with an expressive face and others need to see it to know that you truly care.
Just as loving is almost impossible without contact, so is serving one another. In fact, how do you know what the needs are if you don’t see them and hear about them from the person in need? Furthermore, you have needs too that can only be met by others in the Body of Christ who reach out to you with the love of the Lord.
Christ forgave each person in a personal and real way. Can we do any less? And how do others know that we have forgiven them if we never go around them? Forgiveness is a foundation of our faith; we offer it to others because it was first given as a free gift to us. I think we need to be in the community of believers to practice this skill called forgiveness. It is not something that is easy to do, but it is easier if you are among others who believe that it is necessary to move forward in your walk with the Lord.
Devotion and honor starts with giving yourself to God and spreads to giving of yourself to others.
Confession to one another holds us accountable and makes us want to be better and to do better the next time that same temptation comes around. We pray for each other and face temptation fully girded and ready, but also knowing that our fellow believers are fighting the good fight with us.
Finally, we must encourage each other. The world is a dark and lonely place, filled with sin and all kinds of horrible things. But we are not alone in the world and God never meant for us to be alone. In fact, when He created woman, he said that it was not good for man to be alone. It still is not good to be alone. We need each other for encouragement and for building each other up. Together, we build the house of the Lord which resides inside us.
I have heard many say that it is not good to go to churches because they are so hypocritical and filled with sin. Actually, what they are is a building in which we worship God and the building is filled with imperfect people who are there to encourage, forgive, confess, honor serve and love. One another! Because that is how God planned it. We are stronger together.