“Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace.” Colossians 3:15 (CEV)
God intends for us to experience life together. The Bible calls this shared experience fellowship. However, the word has been watered down from its biblical meaning. Fellowship now usually refers to casual conversation, socializing, food, and fun.
On the other hand. Real fellowship is so much more than just showing up at services. It is experiencing life together, which includes unselfish loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving, sympathetic comforting. and all the other commands found in the New Testament.
So, what is the difference between real & fake fellowship?
Authentic fellowship is much more than just surface-level chit-chat. It is genuine, heart-to-heart sharing. It happens when people get honest about who they are and what is happening in their lives when they share their hurts, reveal their feelings, confess their failures, disclose their doubts, and admit their fears.
Real fellowship also experiences the following,
- Mutuality – The are of giving and receiving.
- Sympathy – Is not giving advice or offering quick, cosmetic help; sympathy is entering in and sharing the pain of others.
- Mercy – Is a place of grace, where mistakes aren’t rubbed in but rubbed out.
- Forgiveness – Is allowing for each others faults and forgive the person who offends you.
Remember, you will never be asked to forgive someone else more than God has already forgiven you. Whenever you are hurt by someone, you have a choice to make,
Will I use my energy and emotions for retaliation or for revelation, but you can’t do both.
Book: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren