James 3:18 You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. (MSG)
Fellowship brings great rewards but it always requires commitment.
Only the Holy Spirit of God can create true, meaningful fellowship in the household of God and this fellowship manifests as the people of God walk in the platinum attitudes of God – love, humility, thanksgiving, selflessness, and honor.
Today in the 21st Century, many people have grown up in broken, dysfunctional families and have never been taught or had modeled what healthy fellowship looks like. Thus, they lack the relational and emotional skills needed for real fellowship. Today, an important teaching of the church is simply to train believers how to relate to one another. James calls it the “hard work of getting along with each other…”
Fellowship will not just happen – it takes commitment on our behalf.
Fellowship requires honesty. There will be times when you have to care enough to speak the truth, even when it is easier to sweep it under the carpet. Real love notices when a fellow Believer is drifting away, or distracted by something that will slowly harm them. This is where fellowship is important because it can prevent Believers being deceived and enticed away from the church family of God.
But there is a way to talk honestly to one another. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says:
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
Fellowship also requires humility. Self-importance, pride, and self-seeking attitudes will destroy fellowship faster than anything else. In the same way, these vices destroy marriages on a day-by-day basis, they will destroy the church and the devil uses them as weapons to break God’s church.
Fellowship clothes itself with humility. 1 Peter 5:5 says “…clothe yourselves with humility towards one another…”
Humility is the oil that softens and soothes relationship tension. Humility opens the door to God’s grace. 1 Peter 5:5 goes on to say that “…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Grace is what causes us to grow, change, heal and help one another. But pride is literally living in opposition to God!
Understand that humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s just thinking of yourself less. The way to achieve this life in God is by thinking more of God, it’s by seeking first His Kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
Become a person who is committed to fellowship in your church.
The early church devoted themselves to fellowship continuing to meet in church and in homes (Acts 2:42,46). This is God’s desire for His church today.