I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:11-12
How important to our spiritual well-being is meeting together on a regular basis? The Apostle Paul must have thought it was absolutely essential. There are two important reasons for this: fellowship and encouragement. Fellowship provides caring Christian company to foster spiritual growth while holding each one of us accountable to live godly, righteous lives. Furthermore, from this close Christian community, we receive encouragement for enduring the difficult days that often accompany life. But more importantly, we are given an opportunity to encourage others during their difficult days of struggle.
This is especially true for those of us suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. A key recommendation for Alzheimer’s patients is to continue participating in social activities and enjoying the company of close friends. There are no closer friends than your brothers and sisters in Christ. As a Christian, I belong to many small groups that lovingly support my spiritual wellbeing. More importantly, these groups allow me an opportunity to encourage and pray for others. I have found the more time I spend encouraging and praying for others, the less time I spend dwelling on my current situation.
The writer of Hebrews also provided similar advice to the early Christians when he wrote, “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, and let us encourage one another all the more as we see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).” He knew that fellowshipping together would provide encouragement, strength, comfort, and spiritual well-being for those early Christians.
Perhaps the writer of Hebrews and the Apostle Paul were cut from the same spiritual mold. Perhaps this is the mold we should be cut from as well! As long as we continue to meet together and make a conscious effort to encourage one another in Christ, our spirits will not be broken. There is no doubt for me that early-onset Alzheimer’s disease can be a spirit breaking event but not if I maintain a close Christian community with whom I meet on a regular basis.
How is your spiritual well-being today? If you are struggling, take the advice of the writer of Hebrews and the Apostle Paul, meet together with your brothers and sisters in Christ, You will be strengthened and encouraged. So, go to a meeting and be blessed today!