“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV)!
I’ve mentioned here before that I’m a bit of an introvert. When times are good I often feel that I don’t need others very much. And when times are bad I don’t want others very much.
I seem to forget that I am a part of a Body. I am not an island.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you have been completely leveled by a lost love, a betrayed trust, or a shattered dream. You’d like to start again, but fear stands before you like a sheer rock face and you don’t know where or how to begin to get back to where you once stood.
Or perhaps you are so secure in who you are, so secure in your own faith and ability, that you aren’t held back by fear. You are simply over-committed to yourself.
It’s really no secret that God created us to exist in relationships. Relationship with Him. Relationships with each other. It’s true in all aspects or our lives, but it is most true in regard to our faith walk. There are a several reasons for this.
First, we each have our own experiences, but the lessons behind those experiences can be applied to other situations. Say, you learned to trust God with your finances throughout your life because of the way you were raised. And, perhaps I have gone through bankruptcy after years of bad financial decision. I need to learn financial responsibility, yes, but I also need to learn to trust God with my finances. Your strengths inform my weaknesses!
Second, it’s not uncommon for people to overestimate the things in their lives. “No Christian has ever struggled with sin the way I struggle with sin!” Or, “I’m so much better than the other people in my church” (remember the Pharisee in Luke 18:11?). We all need people in our lives who can help us see that everyone struggles with sin, and walk with us as we grow. We also need those who are not afraid to let us know that we are not nearly as righteous as we may think.
Third, we’ve all endured the word problems in mathematics that show that two people working on a job can accomplish the task in less than half the time it would take a single individual working alone. While the word problems were annoying, they demonstrated the truth of Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.”
Finally—I’m certain there are additional reasons, I’m just stopping at four!—we all need someone in our lives to pick us up (Ecclesiastes 4:10), brush us off, and walk with us as we rejoin the pursuit of our Savior.
Ideally, we would never need to be reminded that God designed us to be relational. We would never forget that we need other Christians, walking life with us, to accomplish the work that Jesus has called us to do. But the world is not ideal!
This is why our pastors seem to endlessly beat the need to be in life groups, small groups, whatever they are called in your church, into our heads week after week. They understand the power of community. They know that you can build relationships that can be full-time relationships there. Think mindfully on these things and be relational.
Blessings on your weekend.
I think I need to add a quick five minutes to the Next Steps workshop about getting a goal/habits partner/coach for encouragement and accountability.
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That would be awesome. Matching people might be difficult, but worth the effort.