IT'S NOT BETTER ALONE!
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil." Ecclesiastes 4:9
As a child, I would tell you that I had somewhat of an inaccurate understanding of the reasoning behind God’s design for friendship. Luckily even with my deficit of knowledge, I was blessed with an amazing best friend at a very young age. Probably unknowing to her when she walked into my second-grade class, she would be stuck with me all the way to the current time. For most of our adolescent years, we were inseparable. And while we had so many amazingly fun years together, I would guess that wasn’t God’s sole purpose for bringing us together.
What does Christian fellowship look like to you? What comes to mind when you think of friendship or a community of friendships? For me in these younger years, it was hanging out with someone that you get along with, that you have fun with, and one that makes you laugh. But more importantly someone you could trust to tell all deep dark secrets and share with them your most embarrassing moments.
And while I would tell you that from my perspective, all of that is totally normal –God has something much greater in mind. From the very beginning, God knew that we would need others to be in community with. When God created the first man, Adam, He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). God declared that all aspects of His Creation were good and when speaking of Adam and Eve, He said it was very good. The only thing that was “not good” was for them to be alone.
This friendship that was formed between two-second graders was purposeful for more than giggles, laughs, and fun times. As a preteen, this relationship took me down paths that led me to the end of an altar. That is why Christian friendships and community matter. You see at the end of that altar was where I secured my faith in Christ and received His promise of Salvation and eternity with Him one day.
We seemed to understand so much better as children the value of friendships. As adults –well I believe that we see and know the value of these relationships and being in community with other believers, yet so often we just opt out. We have forgotten that the sum is greater than the parts. We have looked past the truth that there is strength in numbers when those numbers are formed for the purpose of pursuing God’s mission.
"We have forgotten that the sum is greater than the parts. "
I’m sure there are a variety of reasons for the withdrawal in this area. To some, friendships seem difficult. They take work, occupy our time and consume part of our hearts – but for these friendships, it’s worth every single bit of it. King Solomon, one of the wisest and wealthiest men in the Bible, said, "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil." He had everything money could buy yet he still understood the value of community. He realized that two could accomplish more together than each could individually.
As I think about these Christ-centered relationships in my life, I trust and understand what God meant when He said that it was not good for man to be alone. Whether it’s a quick phone call to check in, a relaxed morning chatting over a cup of coffee, or a small group Bible study, these relationships have grown my faith and my relationship with Jesus in such tremendous ways. And though life sometimes feels “easier” to walk alone –this road doesn’t offer Joy.
Today I want to encourage you to evaluate the relationships in your lives. Do you have people that encourage you, hold you accountable, and point you toward Christ daily? If so, I pray that you see the true value in these people. But does this mean that these are our only friends? Do we just stick to that one person or that one group that is a vital part of our growth in Christ? For me they aren’t –they are however the ones that help me to be the same kind of friend that I was blessed with as a second grader. They help me to pour into the people around me that may not understand the path that leads to faith and hope in the everlasting God. These friends help me not only to move closer to Jesus daily, but they also teach me how to go out into the world as one that disciples, teaches, and encourages others.
Today, my sisters, I pray that you see and trust that two are better than one when these two are chasing after the things of Christ. I hope that you see the benefits of community despite the effort it requires. Because the truth is that there is value in these relationships that God designed with a purpose in mind.
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