1. Companionship; society; consort; mutual association of persons on equal and friendly terms; familiar intercourse.
RELA'TIONSHIP, n. The state of being related by kindred, affinity or other alliance.
All too often we mistake relationship for fellowship and vice versa. We make the fellowship the basis for relationship, when, scripturally, it is the other way around (1John 1). All fellowships must share some commonality. In the case of believers the commonality is the person of Christ. All believers, as it is written, are in Christ. So then our fellowship is based firstly on our relationship with relationship with Him. There are instances where fellowship is to be broken, but the relationship is never broken. So even when we can no longer “break bread” with a brother (or sister) we must still treat them as such. There is a balance that can be achieved but it can only come by way of the Spirit.
Believers should practice fellowshipping together. Today, fellowship never goes beyond denominational boundaries. And even within denominations fellowship is limited. The Father does not see us the we see us. He sees us all as His children. As a parent I don’t see any of my children differently. However with some of my children their practices disappoint me. Not all my children live their life in light of me being pleased. So I, when a disappointing issue occurs, have to use that as a time to encourage proper behavior.
When one of the children misbehave, their siblings don’t shun them. At least with my children I find them encouraging the behavior that is expected. They don’t behave differently towards them. Even when they have to have correction they don’t laugh and say “See I told you that you were going to get the rod!” They try to comfort each other. However in our spiritual relationships we don’t practice the same behavior. We treat each other like they are not our Father’s children. We have practiced a manner of life that is inconsistent with the life that we have been given. This is shameful. After all when we get to eternity we will all be there for a very long time. We should get the practice in now.
Because of our relationship with the Father, we should embrace the relationship we have with each other.
1Cor 13; Phil 2; Eph 1, 2, 3, 4; Gal 6; Acts 2, 4;