Together

I am made for relationship with others – and so are you.

Like most churches today, our church urges members to join small groups. The idea is that, as we get to know other, we will share our hopes and fears and spur each other on to become more like Christ.

God saw the need for human beings to live together when he created Eve to be a companion for Adam.

Still, many believers prefer to go it alone. That is a lonely road – and sometimes a hopeless one.

Why do some Christians avoid relationships with others?

Probably because it can be costly. If a friend needs help, you may be called on to give assistance. That can cost you in time, money, and emotions.

And there is a chance you will be annoyed by someone in your group – maybe even get into an argument.

To avoid disputes, some Christians never associate with other believers even on Sunday. I know of one elderly couple who had Sunday services, but only with each other.

But that is not the way Christ wanted us to live.

He endorsed the Old Testament dictum that we are to love God and love our neighbours as ourselves.

I fall short on both measures. But I take solace in the fact that God is at work in me to make me more like Christ over a lifetime.

Christ lived a life of relationships with others – naming 12 disciples to become his close companions. He had to deal with different personalities; he had to referee disputes between his friends.

His friends weren’t perfect. But they were ready to turn the world upside down after Jesus ascended to heaven once the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them.

They had learned a lot in the three years they spent with him. They were able to take what they had learned and teach others.

Indeed, having relationships with others isn’t just for our benefit. We do benefit – others in our group support us when we need support. But reaching out to others brings eternal benefits to our friends and companions, too.

And, together we grow.

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