As I pointed out in the first 'well balanced' article, our faith, like other organic life forms needs three elements to grow:
And, just like the plants that grow with sun, water, and soil, if the elements needed for growth get out of balance, that causes specific problems. What I would like to look at in this article is a little deeper look at each of the elements.
(Again, I would like to point out that I do not believe that you can have "too much" of any of these elements. It only becomes excess when not kept in balance with the other two.)
This is a 'christian-ese" term that we here a whole lot of, but no one really defines it. Spending time together is a common definition. If you belong to certain denominations, then fellowship usually means food. While others fellowship is a sanctified activity that only the saints of God can partake in. No matter how you define the word, it's not really that word that matters. Fellowship is what should be happening when two or more people, who genuinely care and have concern for one another, spend time together. I do not believe that a certain activity, food group, or sanctification is necessary, only the desire to deepen a relationship.
Probably more than any other singular term in all of Christendom, the concept and expression of worship has caused more strife and division among the members of the body of Christ. The "worship wars" as they are called are completely ridiculous when you take into account that fact that worship is not music! Yes, we can worship with music, or to music, but the reality is that worship is not music. It is the expression of love, thanksgiving, and exaltation of God by us, His creation. We should be involved in worship every day. Dare I say all day. Is there not a moment when you can stop what you are doing to recognize the Divine in the day to day. Say "Thank you, Lord" for something in your life. That is worship. How can we expect to be able to worship corporately if we don't worship personally?
In my opinion, this is the last talked about and yet, most needed element for the Church today. Discipleship is no more than the process of becoming a disciple. That's it. People try to put a lot of other things in with it, but at its base principle, it is not more than becoming more like Christ as you strive to be a follower of Christ. This is sadly missing from many churches and lives of Christians. We don't want to confront sin, or tell people they can't or shouldn't do this or that, because it might offend them. The reality is Jesus talked more about what we SHOULD DO than what we SHOULD NOT DO. I think the reason we have fewer Christians practicing discipleship, is because they are focused on the Old Testament's concept of 'Thou Shalt Not' and not on the message of love and freedom of Christ.
Take a personal inventory of your current life. Do you have all three elements firing in your life. Not just passive attendance of a worship service, but working in action in your life?
What can you (are you) going to do about it?
- Just a thought.