Attendance is essential for relationships. When we miss meeting we miss what is going on others lives. We will miss connecting, understanding, and relating. Then when we attend we may feel disconnected, unsure, confused, and perhaps left out of what's going on. In order to feel 'a part of' we need to attend often. We ought to avoid judging others for missing, but instead provide updates to keep the connection. Our goal is to keep connected out of love and compassion instead of obligation or duty. Intimidating others to keep meeting promotes fear. If someone misses out of evil motivations, fear or shame is bound to come. That person will wrestle with it within themselves and we ought to avoid feeding it. Yet we ought to avoid hiding it as well. Instead, we can patiently and gently invite the truth to come out for God's love to come in.
It's so much easier to deceive ourselves than it is to deceive a group of honest transforming Christians. Each group ought to avoid certain group sabotaging behaviors.
Karpman drama triangle (victim, rescuer, persecuter)
We ought to avoid these roles as much as possible. Suffering, although uncomfortable for everyone, is a valued teacher in our spiritual walk. We ought to listen to it carefully while seeking God's goodness as the solution. The world has taught us to repress our hurts, fears, and tears. Since God is love & compassion he commands us into empathy and sincerity. Meeting together ought to include such feelings. We may hurt as others suffer and then feel joy as others experience God's goodness. We ought to learn to let go of repression prompted by fear or pride as we grow in understanding. The spiritual reality of God is personal, unifying, challenging because of evil, freeing because of Good, and beautiful because it is God. Being more with God is being more emotionally connected with each other.
We are responsible to God. Although we care for each other, we ought to avoid dishonest flattery. Many times we may have intentions of helping using deception to make others feel better, but belief built upon deception will set others up for falling. Sooner or later, we learn the truth and then not to trust each other. This is not good.
Let us speak honestly, sincerely, wholeheartedly, gently, with forgiveness, mercy, patience, and love always. Such communication aligns well with God's principles/character. There ought to be justice without favoritism, partiality, or preference. The truth is the truth, but the attitude in how we present it ought to be right with God.
We are all a product of our personal experiences that are unique. Our perceptions of those experiences and what we believe about them affect our faith, since faith has everything to do with our beliefs. Our beliefs affect our decisions, which affects our choices (who we spend time with, where we spend time), which affects our experiences, which influences our spiritual, mental, emotional, social, and physical condition. What we eat, what inward dialogue we use to bring us down or build us up, how much sleep we get, where we work, and whether we engage in seeking God or not.
We all give into self-deception in its various forms. Otherwise we would be in excellent shape physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually. We make unhealthy choices because we convince ourselves to do it. We rationalize and justify unhealthy choices frequently. Keeping secrets protect the evil within us. We are all one spiritual body made to benefit each other.
In group discussions we can learn about ourselves we otherwise can't. Other people will affirm and disagree with us. We can listen to feedback and differences in other's testimonies. We can be both challenged and encouraged. We may develop resentment, impatience, fear, and selfishness which can provide us an opportunity to discover the evil within us. Once we discover the evil we can confess and repent to grow spiritually. If we let the evil convince us to stop meeting together then we will be moving in the direction of obedience to evil and away from God's goodness. Pride destroys, humility restores.
So as we meet together to learn from our differences, humbly, patiently, and compassionately, we can gain insight into the Kingdom of God we would otherwise miss. Each of us experiences and understands God a bit differently. We are all different parts of the spiritual body. Let's share together how we are discovering God.