The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, June 27, 2022 comes to us from Teresa Todt of Illinois.
15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18 "Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:15-22 NIV
“It’s A Journey”
Becoming a member of the physical wellness group at my church has been an eye-opening experience. Sometimes I have felt isolated in my lifelong battle to eat more healthily and moderately. Yet as I listened to others share their stories, it became evident that I was not alone. One woman shared her daily effort to avoid foods that triggered her acid reflux. Another spoke of her addiction to sugary snacks. Yet another told us about her ongoing battle with bulimia. Each of us wrestled with feelings of shame, guilt, and failure. But as we shared our struggles and searched God’s word together, we learned that we can bring our brokenness to Christ and trust him for change. And we vowed to support one another in the process.
Among other things, we learned there is no quick fix in the struggle to change. It is a journey, one we walk daily with Christ. Our individual temptations may vary, but all sin separates us from God and makes us feel alone and ashamed. The gift of the church is that we can gather as a community of sinners and find encouragement, accountability, and a place to feel connected.
I have recently begun a weight loss program. Although it is not directly related to a Christian Community, it does involve coaching and numerous opportunities to share experiences with others who have weight-related challenges. These opportunities to connect with others provide encouragement and support for the challenges I have been facing. I have lost and re-gained weight all of my adult life, and I really appreciate the opportunity to share that journey with others who experience similar struggles.
I invite you to think about struggles in your own life and consider how becoming involved in a support group might help you deal with those challenges.
Heavenly Father, give us the courage to share our burdens with others. Give us the wisdom and love to help those who are in need. Amen.
Christian Accountability Groups.
Thought for the Day:
God does not want me to struggle alone.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 (CEB)