Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Devotional: We see in today’s passage, that the writer of Ecclesiastes shares his reasoning for community over aloneness. In the words of the famous song: “we all need somebody to lean on.”
Shared work makes the load lighter and more productive. When you fall, whether that’s literally or figuratively, having someone to lend a hand to help you up is a blessing. And when threats come, you can certainly defend yourself better in community with others. In other words, there’s strength in numbers.
Certainly that applies to the Christian life. We were never meant to walk our faith journey alone. It’s simply impossible to follow Jesus as a party of one. Jesus chose twelve men to “do life” with, and demonstrated the preferred way of life for His followers; that is, the Jesus way.
The Western culture in which we live is very individualistic. Most of the world naturally lives in a more communal culture, but the way we come up in the world is mostly focused on the individual. Therefore, in order to follow the Jesus way of life, we often have to go against the flow of how we have learned to make our way in this world.
That can be a challenge. If you been taught to be self-sufficient, making authentic biblical community a part of your life might be challenging. But it is necessary in order to live out your calling as a follower of Jesus.
- If you’re a follower of Jesus, what challenges have you faced in living out His preferred way of life?
- If you are not yet a follower of Jesus, have you felt the negative impact of “aloneness” in your life?