Our church has been going through the book of 1 John since September and what I am about to share has been on my heart for just as long, if not longer. 1 John talks about JOY. Not the surface level feeling that can be manufactured or produced, but the joy that results in a state of satisfaction, a state of strength and power, a casting out of fear if you will. This type of joy cannot be stolen by circumstance.
In 1 John 1: 1-3 we are lovingly told that joy comes through relationship and fellowship with God and other believers. When we live in sin, it breaks down these relationships.
Fellowship with other believers is so important to a full life in Christ. Even though I know this, I often times fail miserably.
I like to blame this on being an introvert, but I think I sometimes use that as an excuse. I've really been asking myself lately: How is my relationship with other believers? Is it regular and deep? Do we keep each other accountable for the hard things and love each other despite our shortcomings?
I think my answer to many of these questions is, "sometimes." I don't like that. I mean, it's easy to love the people that are easy to love. To have fellowship with friends who put forth equal effort and make time for you in their lives. It's not so easy to love those that sometimes act unlovable, say offensive things, or really cause you pain. I struggle with forgiveness, which really makes it hard to love people. Even those who are fellow believers.
I want to be that person that loves people. Not because I think it will make my life easier, or because I think it will make me popular, but because I want to experience that JOY that John tells us about. And I want to be able to share that joy with people that don't know it yet.
Can we really truly be connected with God and not love others? I don't think so. That's where this whole thing gets me. Sometimes it's easy to be hateful for annoyed with people, but that only pushes me further away from God in the end. I pray that God changes my heart, because in the end this is only hurting me.
What are you struggling with?
Here comes the less heavy and far more fun part!!! I am working on writing a Q&A post about myself and I need your help! Ask me anything you want to know (however I won't answer questions about my job). Please leave your question below! If you feel more comfortable e-mailing me your question PLEASE do!!