Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
We've all had different experiences at the churches we've attended. Some of us may have felt condemned and shamed at a church when we desperately needed its help. We may fear rejection. We may wish we were part of a church but don't know how to find a good one. Or we may feel out of place in the church we presently attend. Some of us may think that we don't need a church, that we can do fine on our own.
The Bible makes it clear that no church is perfect, but we're still told to join with a group of Christians. It is through our relationships in the church that God molds us. The apostle Paul once wrote, "Honor those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work" (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
The Bible also says, "Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another" (Hebrews 10:25). The church should be a place where believers can encourage and give each other guidance. They should urge each other to pursue a godly course of conduct. Notice that Paul's advice looks to the future rather than looking back. In the church context, God can raise up people to encourage us to keep moving ahead in our spiritual development. Their perspective can help us to continue taking stock of our lives as we recover.
The church community should provide help, encouragement, and direction.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.