Chapter 6: A Man and Fellowship
NOTE: Today we continue with the series of excerpts from my new book, A Man’s Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines. Visit www.maninthemirror.org/spiritualdisciplines for numerous additional audio, video, and print resources on the Spiritual Disciplines.
Living Out a Commitment to Fellowship
We exhort one another.
A few years ago I was talking with a man who attended one of my Bible studies. I found out he had been out of work for quite a while. We spent a half hour on the phone talking about different options. About midway through the conversation I discovered that, in his discouragement, he was sleeping in. He wasn’t going to interviews. He was not aggressively pursuing a new position. “Let me ask you,” I said, “what do you want here? Do you want a hug or a kick in the pants?”
He admitted, “What I really need is a kick in the pants.”
I said, “If you want, I’ll hold you accountable. Call me at four o’clock tomorrow afternoon and tell me how many employment interviews you have scheduled.”
Sometimes, even when we’re down, what we really need is somebody to exhort us and spur us on.
Some of you may have recently returned to a bad habit. Or perhaps you are wavering between two options in a moral dilemma. Or, at a really basic level, perhaps you’ve been fighting with your wife all week. You probably can’t solve that problem if you don’t open yourself up to someone and admit that you have a “gap.” There are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, you probably don’t really need someone to sympathize with you, to say, “Oh, I’m so sorry you yelled at your wife. Oh, poor baby.” No, you need a kick in the pants. You need some real-life exhortation. Scripture says that’s part of what it means to have biblical fellowship.
- Encourage one another.
Sometimes we need the kind of confrontation we’ve just discussed. But sometimes we need comfort and encouragement. Encouragement should also be on the biblical fellowship agenda. Encouragement is the food of the heart, and every heart is a hungry heart. It can happen intentionally or unintentionally….
How do I know that Jesus is alive? Because I see Him in you. How do I know that Jesus really loves me? Because you really love me. None of us is complete, but together, we are whole. In His wisdom, God has not given any of us everything we need. Instead He chose to give us one another.
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
Pat Morley, Ph.D.
P.S. You can order this book through Man in the Mirror by going to www.maninthemirror.org/spiritualdisciplines.