When Jesus sent the 12 disciples out to practice what he had taught them, he wouldn’t let them take anything on their travels. He sent them out in pairs, and they were to stay with anyone who would welcome them into their home.
Fellowship, not materialism, is all they needed. Fellowship provides companionship, accountability and encouragement through which God supplies all we need for the journey. As my friends know, I would be very happy staying isolated in my house for weeks. That is just how I am wired. But I have realized not only does God want us to fellowship with others, in the long run, I am so much better off.
One of the reasons I am uncomfortable with relationships is I feel I have nothing substantial to contribute to the friendship. I don’t want to be a burden to others, which is why (I believe) I have been in circumstances where I have to reach out to my friends. I can’t travel life’s journey without friends, and frankly, I don’t want to.
In effort to give back to the Body of Christ, I have started making handmade cards as my way of serving my church. The recipients will never know I made the cards, which is the best part. I don’t want praise for the cards, I want to do it in obedience to Christ’s command to serve. That in itself feels really ‘right’.
As far as socializing – believe me, it is still hard to force myself to connect with even my closest friends. Yet I know they are investing in our friendship, so the least I can contribute is my time, love, and fellowship. I realized I needed to do more than merely declare how undeserving I feel to have the great friends in my life… I need to put that declaration into action. I need to put my selfish desires of introversion and isolation aside for others. Just one more way to strive to be like Jesus.