Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Yes, I have longed for such a Christian fellowship!

 

 
 
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17

 
There is a verb called "confront" in English language.

 Confront= come face to face with someone

*origin mid 16th century: from medieval Latin confrontare, [con-'with'+ front-'face']

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Praise be to His name, the Lord has brought me several friends in Christ who care to come to confront me, correct me, challenge me and exhort me.

Of course, this kind of confrontation often accompanies certain pains, since--as "iron sharpeneth iron" (Prov.27:17)--, in the process of sharpening, our own faults and shortcomings will be revealed and thus, we find ourselves so vulnerable and defenseless.

An elderly sister once told me that I should seek "the love of the truth" (II Th.2:10) to be applied to --no other person or organization but-- to me at first and foremost. "Lord, show me the naked reality of myself!"--Oh, it is indeed a dreadful prayer, a prayer which inevitably draws us to the place of pains and humiliations. However, she says, only through this painful process would our heart be drawn closer and closer to the heart of God.

Martian Buber, an Austrian philosopher, in his famous work I and Thou (Ich und Du, 1923) says one of the major problems in our modern civilization is that human life finds its meaningfulness in relationships.
 
Instead of having a living, personal, face-to-face relationship with other(s) [*I-Thou relationship], our relationship with God and with others have been degraded into non-personal, mechanical one [*I-It relationship]. Indeed, the attitude of the "I" towards an "It", towards an object that is separate in itself, which we merely use or experience.

How is my relationship with God? And how is my relationship with my fellow human beings? Is it I and Thou or is it merely I and It relationship?

To me, a friend who comes to confront me with all of his/her being is the one who draws me to the I and Thou relationship. In the midst of the lifeless, gloomy world of the I and It, the fellowship with such a saint is indeed the time of life and light.

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." I John 1:7
 
Yes, I have longed for such a Christian fellowship, in which I have found a true, eternal friendship.