Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tired but Gathering for Joy

Like many of you, I'm tired from working this week. I'm tempted to stay home and rest this morning, which I do on some Sundays. However, I also want to meet with my church family.

Our church usually gets together on Sundays because this is the day that is easiest on the schedules. We will occasionally see one another during the week, but since we don't all live close together it is almost impossible for everyone to be there.

My point in this short post is this: I'm going because I want to not because I feel I have to.

There is a big difference between those two motivations. We should not get together with other Christians because guilt drives us to do so. God's not angry with us if we stay at home some of the time. Instead, we have the privilege of gathering with brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a joy to do so.

My hope for you is that you are in a situation where you want to spend time with other believers. I'm guessing that you are likely going to meet with them today. What drives you to do so? Is it joy or is it guilt? Regardless of the form or length of your gathering, I hope it is joy you are seeking.

3 comments:

From the Wilderness... said...

Eric,
Our small church group usually meets Friday night to leave the weekends open for traveling and/or family get togethers. I agree that going because you want to should be the motivation most of the time. But shouldn't we also go occasionally when we don't feel like it? Perhaps because we could be encouraged by others there, or perhaps because we don't want to our actions to be predominately directed by feelings? For me, this issue becomes more important to address when I am going most of the time for reasons other than wanting to.

Seth

Eric said...

Seth,

Motivation for gathering with other believers is an interesting question. The goal of the gathering is mutual edification, which brings joy in Christ (or at least should). In that sense, we get together for our joy and that of our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, I don't think we should ever go if guilt is the driving factor. You make a good point, however, that we shouldn't simply follow emotions. My hope is that our desire to edify would lead our emotions toward getting together.

Jeffrey said...

Depriving your brothers of your wife's cooking should cause guilt. Shame on you when your not there.