Monday, August 6, 2012
At lunch today, David and Sean were discussing the topic of swimming. David was telling Sean he needed to learn how to swim. Sean insisted he already knew how to swim. “NO! All you do is doggy paddle, like this!” David said, while frantically flailing his arms around like a puppy dog.
Even though Sean was laughing, I took the opportunity to turn this discussion into a teachable moment. “David, you still doggy paddle most of the time.” I said “Daddy taught you how to swim. Now you need to encourage Sean to get better. Is this how you would want to be encouraged?” To which David replied, “I don’t need to be encouraged! I know all about swimming!”
Chad and I immediately busted out laughing as soon as the outrageous statement was made. But the words, "I don't need to be encouraged" resounded in my heart. "Wow!" I thought, "How many times have I told myself that lie?"
It might sound funny coming from a pastor’s daughter and from a person who drags people out of the comfort of their home on a regular basis to come to Sunday services; but the hardest thing for me to do after moving to Oklahoma was to attend church. In my mind, my relationship with God was fine and I could certainly get past my heartache without the help of anyone else. If God had not softened my heart, and my loving husband hadn’t dragged me from place to place until we found a church home, I was headed for spiritual defeat.
Jesus never intended for any of His followers to be self-reliant. Our need for each other is by His design. It is necessary for our growth as Christians to be in regular fellowship with other Christians; to be surrounded by other Christ followers who we can strive and grow with, who we are praying and serving beside and in whom we can confide.
Hebrews 3:13 reminds us of the dangers of becoming a “Lone Christian”, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.”
Denying my need for the encouragement of other Christians might have made way for the hardening of my heart to God’s leading, thus stunting my spiritual growth. It was only after Chad and I began to experience spiritual healing that God began to really reveal the ministry He has instore for us, here in Oklahoma City.
Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together . . . but exhorting one another: and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” The commentary on this passage from Barne’s Notes explains the meaning beautifully, “There is an obvious propriety that people should assemble together for the worship of the Most High, and no Christian can hope that his graces will grow, or that he can perform his duty to his Maker, without uniting thus with those who love the service of God.”
I’m thankful for a Heavenly Father who is swift to correct my arrogant heart, and for a church family who we can grow in grace with; “. . .Even as we see the day of the Lord approaching.”