So what does it mean to walk with a brother/sister in Christ?
Physically what does it mean? Does it mean to just walk with the person, to take their pet for a walk with them, to go for a run, a jog, a skip, whatever….. Well yes I believe it means to do this, it means to spend time together. As I have studied the Greek language in seminary I have realized how important it is for us to be aware of the meanings of words. So yes this is just part of what it means to walk with a brother/sister in Christ.
What else does it mean?
Well these are just some thoughts and ramblings, I know I won’t hit every aspect of what it means, and well it will mean different things to different people at different times.
I believe to walk with another person means to to purposely choose to live life in some vicinity/relationship to the person who you are walking with. Just as husband and wife choose and commit to walk life together, so do brothers and sisters in Christ who are walking together. So to “walk” with someone means to commit to spending some time with them and sharing life. I guess I would say that it means to live in community with them. Its hard to truly walk with someone who is on the other side of the world physically, so to it can be hard to walk with them in the sense of walking with a brother/sister in Christ.
So it means to spend time together, it means to share our experiences, challeneges and strongholds in our life. It doesn’t mean to allow the other person’s problems and sins to become ours but instead to understand what they are going through as best as we can, and be there for them. Its in some ways living a life of transperancey and openness. You may not fully understand exactly how the other person feels but it is the process of attempting to understand, care, and be there.
Walking means to share the journey of growing closer to Christ. In doing so there is a shared and common goal, to be more life Christ. This means that on the journey we are talking and challenging each other to grow, change patterns of behavior that are determental, and to spur each other on towards love and good deeds. This may mean supporting a brother who is struggling in sin, struggling with who God is to them, struggling with their relationship to God and others…………. Its a matter of being as some like to put it God with skin on. I don’t want this to mean that we are truly God, but that we are there for each other to be God’s instrument and to demonstrate God’s love, support, ect to each other……. This journeying may involve times of asking each other hard quesitons about our actions, attitudes, thoughts, and our sin…….
Journeying with God alone is hard, and involving someone else in that process is not always easy. I believe that the church is supposed to be a place of safety where those of us who are broken and hurting can be ourselves. A place that does not have a unseen sign at the door stating “PLEASE PUT ON YOUR HAPPY PERFECT SINLESS PERSON MASK ON, WHO PREACH GOD’S LOVE OF SINNERS, BUT THERE ARE NO SINNERS ALLOWED HERE”. Instead there should be a large visible sign stating: “Sinners Welcome, No one is excluded from our fellowship. Regardless of what your sins are we still love you just as Christ does.”
I know that I haven’t been perfect in living my life transperantly and authentically with those around me. This is something that I’m trying to change. I know that it takes time to be remolded into the person God wants us to be. But these are just thoughts of mine of what it means to walk together……. More thoughts on this to follow……