23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:23-25
When we meet as a small group, we have two purposes - one is to be stirring each other up. Stirring up is the accountability part of meeting with others. To be able to stir one another up, we have to know each other well. The people in our small groups should know our hearts and where we have a tendency to let our flesh win. They should know and understand our struggles better than anyone - I would argue in some cases better even than our spouses - because they are the ones who are called to hold us accountable. And that can't happen unless we are being transparent and honestly sharing our struggles in group. We cannot stir anyone up if we don't understand each other's true struggles.
The problem is we live in a world that teaches us to never let our weakness show, lest we will be judged. And it's even worse in the church at times. "I can't possible show my true colors or talk about my real struggles with these women - they're so Godly, what would they think of me?!" So we put on airs, acting like the perfect little Christian around other Christians. Sadly, I've been a part of far too many small groups like that - a superficial meeting of people who don't struggle, or who are excellent at pointing out how others in their lives struggle. We will never find true freedom unless we get honest with ourselves and with the people in our small groups.
I have been so thankful to have been a part of groups where transparency is valued and judgment is non-existent - those are the groups where I’ve grown the most. But we need to take it even further than that - small groups need to push forward in stirring one another up to love and good works. We need to hold one another accountable to increasing our time and relationship with the Lord, we need to hold one another accountable to showing greater loving kindness in our relationships with frustrating people, we need to hold one another accountable to doing the good work of the kingdom. Because without that stirring up, we would continue on in our flesh, doing what's easiest in the moment.
A final note on stirring up - if this is to be one of the two main purposes of our meeting as a small group, then we need to take the time to prepare our hearts before meeting with others. We need to not only expect and be ready with a humble heart for others to point out where we need to grow, we need to go in looking for it - to the point of feeling let down if we leave small group without knowing where we've been stirred up! And we need to prepare our hearts for the stirring up of others, praying He will give us kind and loving words with which to stir up others.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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