Once again my self-perception of uniqueness deludes me into thinking that I can keep these balls spinning and that my friends and family will "understand". In reality, every single one of my relationships ends up being significantly more about me then the other person. This is just another nasty side-effect of my unrelenting egomaniacal behavior. I don't mean to be that way, it just comes out that way!
Your walk talks, and your talk talks. But your walk talks louder than your talk talks.The crux of this is that keeping these relationships healthy is what helps me grow, mature, and be less self-centered.
Growing up and today within conservative circles the passage from Hebrews 10:25 is used to bully people into going to church.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.Not surprisingly, I tend to have a more pragmatic interpretation of this particular Scripture. At the core I (more than many) really understand the value of fellowship. I have an exceptionally gregarious personality and find no greater joy than the company of others. This is, of course, as shock to many of you. ;-) Instead of seeing this as a call to Worship, which what I believe is a primary function of Church, I see this as a call to congregation, a call to a life of fellowship.
I see a common mentality that is a symptom of the spiritual deadness in organized religion these days. It is a holdover from those who go to Church to "be fed". One weakness of the institutional church is that the majority of members are coming to receive, to be edified, to be encouraged, to be fed. It is all take, and very little give. Hence, there is very little Life.
To be clear, I am a huge (spectacularly, vigorously, blatantly) fan of organized Worship. I find that it is empowering and fulfilling. The take away is that I am simply in love with my God and cannot cease to Worship Him regardless of the setting, organized or personal. My Worship is no less empowering when I'm singing all-out in my car, or in the shower, or in the back of the Church on a Sunday morning. I rush as eagerly to pray and to praise with myself as I do within the confines of a service. For me, Worship is how I live, Church is just an opportunity to do more of that publicly.
Somehow I seem to have gotten off my original topic of why it's hard to keep healthy relationships with friends when I don't seem them at church. Perhaps I'm secretly distressed that so few people can manage a relationship without an organized structure within which to do it. I need to think more about that. And I'll try and frame some thoughts on Worship and Church for upcoming posts as well.