A little over a year ago, I decided I wanted to try my hand at running (or rather, my feet). I wanted to begin building better habits in regard to my personal physique and health. But the thing is, I don’t like doing anything alone. In fact, believe it or not, I’m an extremely high-maintenance extrovert. I constantly desire (and need) people’s time and attention. So I went to my Dad and asked him to start running with me. At first he was hesitant, but he eventually ended up agreeing. And so we ran.
Fast forward a year later, and we’re still running. Three days a week, I hear a knock on my door at 8 AM sharp, and I know that, for better and for worse, it’s time. There have been so many times in the past year that I have been tempted to give up and quit, so many times that I have wanted to slow down, and just lay on the ground instead of finishing the run. But I don’t because I have my Dad running beside me, pushing me to continue, challenging me to finish. In total honesty though, if I didn’t have him beside me, I would have quit after week one, maybe week two.
The point is this: We need people to hold us accountable and to encourage us to continue running the race of the faith that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 9:24.
We’re going to be spending this entire week talking about accountability and Christian fellowship, so I’m not going to go into too much detail, but I do want us to look at some key verses that talk about these topics.
In Proverbs 27:17, we read: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
In Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
And in 1 Thessalonians 5:11a, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up”
The Christian race is not easy to run. The Bible is clear that we need each other if we’re going to run it strong. In fact, accountability and Christian fellowship are so crucial to the Christian faith that we are commanded (God doesn’t really do a lot of recommendations…) to encourage one another, to build one another up, and to bear each other’s burdens. From a personal perspective, I can say with total confidence that I would not be anywhere near where I am today in my relationship with God were it not for the constant encouragement and exhortation from my family, as well as my friends.
It’s going to be an incredible and challenging week and I am crazy excited to see and hear how God uses the posts ahead to challenge and convict all of us.