Together. There is so much we can do when we stick together. Trees cannot grow tall with only one root. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” We are so much stronger when we bear with one another and encourage one another. When we stay together and talk things through instead of giving up and walking away. We need to dig deep into the faith that draws us together, focus on that faith to nurture each other and grow, then spread our faith to others. We were not meant to simply go to church and forget about God the rest of the week.
One of the best ways we can spread our faith is by loving others. I have been challenged quite a bit lately to love, and to live out that love by being available and willing to help everyone around me. I was reminded that when Jesus told us in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” He is not just talking about obvious enemies, but people who annoy you or try your patience. They may not be what we would consider enemies, but they can be hard to love, and we are commanded to do so. Friends, the best part of this is that we don’t have to do this all alone. We don’t have the strength to do it, and God knows that and gives us the strength we need when we rely on Him. He knows we’re not prepared for this, and He assures us that He is and that He is with us always. Are there people you are having a hard time loving right now? Has God put those people in your life to help you grow in your faith?
I have to say it’s easy to use this pandemic to come up with excuses not to help people. It is hard enough to get the energy to help ourselves sometimes, so reaching out to others can be exhausting, especially for an introvert like me. This is one of the ways our family in Christ can help and encourage us, and we can help and encourage them. I have mentioned over and over about being accountable to others when we are working on things in our lives. We aren’t perfect by a long shot, and all of us need to keep growing every single day, so we all need help and need others to lift us up when we trip in the midst of our struggles. It is very encouraging to hear that someone else has lived through the experiences that are getting us down. They made it through, so maybe we can, too. Don’t be afraid to talk about the things you have been through. You might be surprised how much it can help someone. If we are open and honest with each other, we can grow and bear fruit.
When we are loving each other and talking about our lives, we look like the family God has called us to be. Supporting and challenging one other is how we mature and become the body of Christ that Paul talks about in Ephesians 4. How are you loving the people around you? How are you loving and supporting your church family? How are they loving and supporting you?