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Christian Fellowship – Beware of the relationship bugs

By Pastor Reinhard Westphal

Do you have a deep longing for genuine relationships and Christian fellowship with other believers? Do you feel that it is very hard to build those relationships? In this article you will learn how to overcome the pitfalls of Christian fellowship.

It is not an accident that the Bible speaks of the Body of Believers. You can only have a healthy physical body, if all the parts of your body are working together in harmony. If only one part of your body is outside of this created harmony, the whole body is suffering. In the same way can the Body of Christ, His Church, not function in the way God has attended it, if members of this body do not life together in harmony.

If relationships in the church are broken and not restored, the church cannot be a light to the community. You can have thousands of programs, but if the members don’t live in healthy and loving relationships, these programs will just be one more activity. The Bible teaches very clear, that the people outside of the church will only be able to understand the love of God if they see the love, that the members of the church have for one another.

What keeps us from experiencing true Christian fellowship within the church? There are walls that we have build around us. Walls, that don’t allow us to have true fellowship. I call them Relationship Bugs. Here are the four main ones:

1. Independence

Many Christian groups suffer from uncommitted members. Commitment does not mean to serve the other just once in a while. Commitment means I am permanently attached to another person. I entered into a relationship.

But many Christians don’t want that. They want to be independent. Sure, we like the good feelings within a fellowship, and we criticise if the fellowship does not keep up to our expectations. But we ourselves don’t want to make a commitment to this fellowship.

We are only expecting something from other people. They have to do this and do that. They have to love me! They have to help me! They have to make the first step. They have to change. They have to come to me!

And don’t tell me what to do! Don’t talk to me about things that can be approved in my life – but be prepared to listen to what I think about you! Don’t come to close to me.

Our desire to be independent shows that we are fearful of others seeing our shortcomings. We want to keep our front. We want to be the good ones.

Independence has only one root: pride! But healthy Christian Fellowship does not mean limited freedom.

2. Fear of Rejection

If you, in the past, were disappointed by others who you had trusted, you, my dear friend have to fight this fear. Don’t be afraid to open up again and engage in deep relationships.

Many people experience an atmosphere of openness and trust for the first time when they come into a Christian setting. But they carry with them a big load of hurts from disappointments. But if you want to live in healthy and genuine relationships, you have to overcome this fear of rejection. You have to take a new risk. The fear of being rejected makes people defensive in their actions. This fear is like a magnet. It attracts new misunderstandings and disappointments.

3. Lack of forgiveness

Unresolved conflicts will kill every fellowship and destroy all relationships. Gossip, the most terrible sin that we find within the church makes it impossible to have fellowship with one another.

If gossip or other sins have destroyed your Christian relationships with others, then there is only one cure: Forgiveness!

But let me make one thing perfectly clear: If you say that you forgive your fellow Christian but that forgiveness does not start the process of new fellowship and relationships, then there was no true forgiveness.

Always remember one thing: If something goes wrong between you and other believers, forgive right away. Don’t put your relationships in danger.

4. Living behind masks

The danger of wearing masks is, that you get used to them. After a little while you believe what you are portraying. We wear masks, because we don’t want to be known.

Christians wear masks because they think that Christians have to be perfect. But because they realise that they are far from being perfect, they do everything in their power to appear perfect. They put on a mask. And all of a sudden they are so holy. They are so wise! They know right from wrong and they have the right theology. They hear from God himself three times a day. And of course, they have no problems.

But you take that mask away from them and you find the most insecure people.

It doesn’t matter how week or how strong you are. God did not make you part of his body to compare yourself with others or others with yourself. We are one body in order to grow together, inspire and encourage one another.

You will never experience the beauty of Christian fellowship and relationships, if you don’t get rid of your masks.

Let’s sum it up:

The main components of genuine Christen fellowships are love, acceptance and forgiveness – not in word, but in deed. Let me encourage you to find a group of Christian friends. Be real, honest and transparent with them. Don’t wear a mask. Kill the relationship bugs in your own life by repenting from your independence, by starting to love others unconditionally and by being the first one to forgive.

Don’t forget: the foundation for good Christian fellowship is not so much your strength and your abilities but your weaknesses and your common dependence on God.

Pastor Reinhard wants to encourage and inspire you to live the abundant live Jesus died for and wants you to enjoy; a life overflowing from God’s Goodness, Blessings and Mercies. Download Reinhard’s free MP3 teaching “How to renew your mind and Self-image” at http://www.myspiritualsupport.net

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERMAKE YOUR OWN WEBSITE

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