I believe that many people in our churches suffer from loneliness.
After the morning service today my family and I were invited to lunch. We do not go out very often on Sundays, nor do we go out with friends very often. I am not sure what compelled our friends to invite us out, but I am grateful for their invitation and gift. There are a series of events that lead to our decisions, but before that, there exists a series of thoughts that can become realities. I have had good fellowship over the past few days, fellowship with different people in different environments. My sister visited with us as she was undergoing some medical tests. My boys had some friends drive down from North Carolina, and Friday night another friend spent the night. Thursday I attended a meeting with strangers, but we were not strangers when I left. I met with a few of them just two days later for prayer. We attended a birthday party on Saturday.
For some time, I have thought about the important roles that we play in each others lives. Yet I have remained somewhat distant from others, sometimes out of fear, mostly my cynicism can get the best of me. I realize that if I allow what others think of me to define who I am, I am neglecting the truth of who I am, in Christ. And I also realize that if I define others by what I see, I will also be neglecting the truth of who they are. We all have the potential for Christ-likeness. Since that is true, it is our responsibility to bring out the best in people. We cannot bring out the best in people by pointing out the worst about them. In fact, we can only encourage, the Spirit will bring out the best. Only He can. But He will use us.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Acts 2.42,26