Many of us were trained to be independent and work on our own and that’s good to a point. It ceases to be good when we don’t share.
Singers Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sang: “I am a rock. I am an island.” Then they explain why: “A rock feels no pain, and island never cries.” It seems they we lamenting our need to hide and avoid sharing and inter-dependence with one another.
Such inter-dependence is big in the Bible. For example, God made man, then observed, “It’s not good for man to be alone; I will make a partner for him.”
God does raise up individuals who lead his people such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus. But the thing they have in common is a strong friendship with God and a willingness to do anything to further God’s work of saving people.
King Solomon, (circa 1040 B.C.) believed in inter-dependence. He wrote, “It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12, The Message)
Sharing is the key to growth, maturity and love. Making the commitment stay even when rough times come along often leads to better things such as hope, faith and charity.
Jesus although he was often alone, abandoned, rejected, and betrayed understood that his entire mission was about others. He said things like:
I have “come to seek and to save those that are lost,” and to heal those who need a doctor, and free those in any kind of prison. “Come unto me,” he calls, “and I will give you rest.” He explains, I am “come to served others and not to be served.”
Jesus taught about the power of two saying, “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”” (Matthew 18:19–20, The Message)
Jesus assigned his disciples into partnerships for success. He mixed and matched the natural brothers, James and John, then Peter and Andrew, so they did their ministries as Peter and John, then, James and Andrew.
Then, he sent his disciples out in pairs. Perhaps, like Solomon, he believed that one will hold the other up when times got tough. Perhaps, he was thinking of the Bible teaching that everything is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Such a witness would come to help his disciples stay in faith when they both witnesses miracles and, most importantly, the resurrection of Jesus.
Today’s takeaway thought: Are you more independent or inter-dependent? Do you team-up and share your life, struggles, prayers, and ministry with one or two others for mutual support? Doing so may change things for the better.
John Parker, is a pastor and teacher at Chowchilla Simple Church. Click reply to contact John.