This christmas break, I backslid in my Christian walk. Usually I’m in the word at least once a day, fellowshipping with others via Bible studies, keeping my fallen human nature in check. But this christmas break, I just leterally stopped. Hit a brick wall… I’d like to use that experience to illustrate how important it is to run the Christian race with others (1 Corinthians 9:24).
There are three crucial relationships to my Christian life: my personal relationship with God, my fellowship with other Christians, and our coordination to shepherd new Christians. (I’m leaving that third one to another post in the future) The first two in this list cannot exist without each other. At least, not in a rich way or a persisting way.
The first two relationships feed off of one another. My personal time with God enriches my fellowship with others, and vice a versa. but without a continued personal relationship with God, my interactions with other Christians become superficial – mere social events. Also, my fellowship with others keeps me accountable to pursuing the Lord personally. Without others, a personal relationship with God becomes a hard-to-maintain chore (in my experience). these two relationships cannot abide separately for long.
What happened during the holiday break is I lost the fellowship with other Christians, the second hand of the “compass.” I was not regularly meeting with others like I do on campus, and because our Bible studies ended, I was no longer accountable to read my Bible. so I stopped. I stayed cooped up at my parent’s place, and consumed an ungodly amount of Netflix and sleep.
I had no motivation to pray, read the bible, talk about God, think about God, confess sin, resist sin, go outside, go to church, nothing. for a month.
I had removed myself from the spiritual support net of my Christian friends and church community. The Enemy took advantage of my singled-out status (1 Peter 5:8). I was intaking a lot of worldly entertainment instead of intaking the Truth. Because of all the trash that was going into me, I ended up having a trash willpower. That kept me stuck there on the couch. Leisure is fine, but not when it controls you like that. My trash willpower led to a trash resistance to temptation.
Luckily, my friend fished me out of it.
Then one of my friends from the church texted me saying they wanted to see me. Me and him and another brother went fishing for a day (it was my first time). I caught my first fish ever (it was really small), and then several more (Also too small). We talked about fishing and guy stuff and the Lord and our breaks; It was an incredibly nice fresh break from the dark living room marathon.
Then the christmas break ended I still needed to adjust. I came back to my Bible study group finding it very hard to attend any meetings, finding it much more difficult to participate and speak up during group prayer or sharing time. I even found myself wanting to avoid some of my best friends in Christ. I guess because my friendship with them is rooted in Christ, when I get away from God I loose my brotherly love toward them.
But I have some good news. After that short initial struggle to re-integrate myself into the Christian life, I found myself growing toward the Lord right where I had left off- I was not back to square one. Just like the spring bursts forth from the death of winter, when it comes to a season of falling away, you *can* keep growing if you have some brothers or sisters in Christ to pull you out of your winter (Ecclesiastes 4:7-12).