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專家說，我們大多數的問題都是源於關係的破裂。1 福音已重建我們與神和肢體的關係，2 神藉著基督使我們與祂自己和好，並且把這和好的職分賜給我們（林後五 18）。因此，傷痛時，我們可以向神和弟兄姊妹尋求幫助。
- 1. 聆聽：對方所講的事對他本人和你都是重要的。衷心聆聽，不急於糾正。靠著聖靈的啟迪，細看天父在對方生命中的同在與作為。
- 2. 對質：當對方的分享出現言行不一時，以尊重的語氣尋求澄清，探索矛盾背後的原因。
- 3. 鼓勵：對方常需要鼓勵，甚至是在失敗時，你的鼓勵都能增強他的心靈力量。
- 4. 同禱：讓聖靈在雙方的生命中滋養與成長。
- 5. 界線：設定深交而不造成過度倚賴的界線，互相尊重，建立真誠的主內友誼。
1 克萊布、艾倫德［L. Crabb & D. Allender］：《承載生命的深交：受傷者的希望》（Hope When You are Hurting），梁偉明譯（香港：天道，2007），頁 154。
2 同上，頁 159。
4 潘怡蓉：《靈程同行者》（香港：證主，2020），頁 43-45。
Shepherding the Flock: Close Companionship for Sharing Life
Rev Jenny Ching
Where do you go to seek help when sorrow looms?
According to experts, most of our problems are attributed to broken relationships.1 The gospel has restored our relationship with God and with other believers. God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). So, God and brothers and sisters are where we can go to when sorrow looms.
You may say: “I have tried sharing my struggles with fellowship members but they tried to teach me this and that, which made me feel hurt….” Such “horrific experience” is actually a step towards maturity. Or look at it this way. Such bad experience is an invitation from God to return to Him with everything uncovered and laid bare before His eyes (Hebrews 4:13), to experience His healing and lovingkindness, and re-enter the church community.
I enjoy the fellowship for the disabled. The group is far from perfect, but it is where we can often experience God's healing and the beauty of truthful companionship. A brother once asked his small group: "You see, I speak so slowly and for so long. Do you find me annoying? The group leader replied: "No worries, we don't find you annoying at all. Now you speak for so long not because you speak too slowly. What you really need is to learn to focus on the main points and leave behind some unessential details…." The brother gladly accepted the suggestion. This is the sort of close companionship we need. It does not avoid weaknesses nor pretend that problems never exist. Rather, reminders are accepted.
The following five elements are conducive to close companionship: 2
- 1. Listen – What the other party says is important to him and to you. Listen sincerely. Do not rush into correcting mistakes. Rely on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and watch out for the Heavenly Father's presence and work in the other person's life.2. Confront – When coming across incongruity between the other party's speech and act, seek clarification with due respect. Try to understand the reason behind the contradiction.
3. Encourage – We all need encouragement, even in times of failure. Your encouragement will lift the heart.
4. Pray together – Let the Holy Spirit nurture and grow our lives.
5. Set boundaries – Set boundaries for close companionship that would not become undue reliance. Respect each other. Build up sincere companionship in Christ.
For many years, I and my prayer partner have been supporting each other. She was there when my parents passed away. I was there when she experienced the premature birth of her son. We could not solve our problems, but we saw God's vivid presence. Please do pray and ask God for a fellowship or group or a partner whom you can have close spiritual companionship with, so that your pain can be healed through the relationship and that you can have a close relationship with God and with man.
1 L. Crabb & D. Allender, Hope When You are Hurting, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
2 Y. J. Pan, Spiritual Companionship in Life Journey, Hong Kong: Christian Communications Ltd, 2020