“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5 – 7 (NIV)
The word ‘fellowship’ is defined as meaning ‘a friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests.’ It makes sense, especially when aligning with those who share your religious beliefs, political beliefs and perhaps come from similar backgrounds as you and yours. It gets tricky though, when those with whom you sought fellowship in the past now present a different perspective regarding their beliefs and ideals. Never in my life has this been more evident than in present day events. Everyone seems to have ‘their back up’ these days.
I’ve witnessed family conflict over a multitude of issues and I’m certain I’m not alone. The fracture of relationships over our opinions, views, etc. is a disturbing thing to observe. Don’t get me started on social media. Sites that were created as a resource for educational Covid policies have become grounds for verbal warfare. Before I go further with this, NO, this is not a post about politics, right vs. left, ethnicity, what branch of Christianity you follow, etc. This is about grace or better yet, living our faith rather than just talking about it to, or at, others. The past several months have presented many opportunities for personal growth. This is also an opportunity to extend grace to others as well as to ourselves. I can honestly say that I have not had my best moments during quarantine; learning to give myself a little grace has been a necessity.
“The man that says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him…This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.(1 John 2:4-6) John wrote this towards the end of his life, not necessarily to one church or sect but to several Gentile congregations to boost their confidence in their faith in the Lord. There were many false teachings at that point, so the letter was meant to encourage the new generation of Christians to be confident in their faith. This probably explains why I find myself reaching for the Word more often these days. I find I need that same encouragement. I may not agree with you 100% and vice versa but let’s try to extend a little grace and kindness to each other; God willing, the fellowship may follow.