As I mentioned in my post “An Unexpected Journey with the Church,” I’m planning to get together with a group of believers in the Charlotte area in April to discuss how expectations often hinder us from finding fellowship in Christ with one another. Over the next few days, I’m planning to write about various expectations and how those expectations can affect our ability to find fellowship and share our lives with other brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve already written about how we don’t always find fellowship in expected locations, and we don’t always build fellowship through expected activities.
But, what about people? Fellowship is all about people. So, how can expectations related to people negatively impact our ability to share our lives with one another and to find and build fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ?
Expectations affect our ability to find fellowship when we only expect to find fellowship with certain people or we expect to never find fellowship with other people.
What kind of people? Well, things like church organizational membership, doctrinal beliefs, denominational association, and also things like educational level, employment status, financial rank, race and ethnicity, age, living conditions, etc. We can (even subconsciously) assume that some of those characteristics would limit (or even increase) our ability to find fellowship with someone (or some group).
Another limitation related to people is the time that we have to spend with them. While spending much time with someone is always beneficial toward fellowship, we should not discount our ability to find fellowship with someone because we only have a short amount of time to spend with them.
With some people, we expect to find fellowship, and when we don’t those expectations negatively affect our ability to find fellowship with others. With other people, we do not expect to find fellowship, and – obviously – those expectations negatively affect our ability to find fellowship with them – but also with other people.
So, what’s the answer? Well, being ready to share our live with anyone. Yes, that means that as we “approach” people for fellowship, many of those people will reject us. But, it’s not up to us to decide who will and who will not reject us. That’s between those people and God.
And, yes, I know that many people – many of my readers – have been hurt by people because of rejection and betrayal. Again, you cannot project that hurt onto other people and assume that others will treat you the same way. That’s also between those people and God.
Instead, it should be our goal to share our lives with anyone who God brings across our path – if they’re willing to accept that fellowship, of course.
Have you ever found fellowship with an unexpected person or group of people.
Series on Expectations and Fellowship
- Introduction – “An Unexpected Journey with the Church”
- Expectations concerning location
- Expectations concerning activities
- Expectations concerning people
- Concluding (and continuing) thoughts