Thursday, May 18, 2006

40 Days of Purpose, Thoughts on Week 3

Week 3 is, of course, on Fellowship, as I stated in this post.

Day 19 was a little too close to home for me. One of the points made is that every church and every small group has a person who is "difficult." I can't help but feel that I am one of those people. I have eccentricities that just don't fit into the "Christian" mould, that make me stand out. Adult Christians just don't dye their hair blue, you know? Yet somehow my church has (thankfully) put up with me.

Today we reached exactly halfway through this 40 day journey with day 20 on restoring broken fellowship. If only I could restore every broken relationship! But K wants me to come back on her terms, and without admitting any wrongdoing. "No contest" might work as a plea in court, but it does not work in the realm of fellowship and reconciliation. She is fundamentally an unsafe person.

Day 20 gives several pointers on how to restore a broken relationship. Too bad none of them were done in my case. There was no sympathy, no confessing of their part in the debacle, no attacking of just the problem, no cooperation with me. The more I learn about the Bible, the more I realize how shabbily I was treated. I may have been formed for God's family, but some people are too unsafe. I won't allow myself to be a doormat.

The rest of this week has focused on the church family and small groups and/or Sabbath/Sunday school classes. I am very lucky to have such a supportive church of truly mature Christians around me.

I have to take back some of what I said earlier. This week's lessons aren't just about being plugged in at a local church, but about cultivating community - truly loving and caring for those in the church. This take honesty, authenticity, and basically giving people a safe environment to share and grow. Chapter 20 reminded me of the study we did on the DNA of Relationships. The pointers in this chapter sound a lot like what I read in that book.

If week 2 was about how to get along with God, week 3 is about how to get along with fellow Christians, primarily in the context of the local church and small groups.

I can't believe we're halfway through this and that I haven't missed or fallen behind a day yet! The last 20 days have gone quickly. Week 3 finishes up tomorrow with protecting the church against disunity. Not really a problem in my congregation. :)

If I can get something out of week 3 - me, the plugged-in person who goes to a healthy church - then anyone can.

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