Is biblical fellowship optional?

Mark Lauterbauch has recently posted some great thoughts on fellowship at his blog Gospel Driven Life.  I love this quote below.  It lines up with my vision of "Life Together" so well. 

The reality of living in what the Gospel calls us to -- in relationship with other believers in a local church with growing awareness of grace and sin, with growing exposure of my own pride and selfishness -- all that spells "ouch" to me.  Except that it is what God has designed for my good and his glory.

Candidly, the reason I find such intimacy difficult is that I prefer my comforts and self-deception to finding out the truth about myself before God.  I am proud enough to think that the other person is the problem.  I am proud enough to think that I know what I need in friends and I do not need them.  I will surround myself with people of my own preference.

It is in the presence of another brother or sister that I am seen for what I am. And that is good.  The Gospel begins with facing who I am.  God uses his word and Spirit to show me that.  Then he draws me into a community of fellow believers and uses them to continue to show me how amazing grace is to save someone like me.