Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is no one to lift him up.
Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
I was walking the other morning and watched as a lone Canadian goose flew quickly toward the horizon. I live on a plateau, and was walking in a spot where you can see for miles over the valley. There was a low fog and the goose flew over the fog in a clearly hurried and purposeful manner. It was clear he was looking for his flock. I looked in the direction he was flying, and there wasn’t another goose in sight.
Around here, you nearly always see geese flying with a large flock, so watching him flying swiftly and so alone made me feel a little sad. I wondered how he’d gotten separated from his flock. It made me think about my 14-year-old daughter who has been pushing at our boundaries lately, and trying to do everything on her own. My new husband, my daughter and I tried out a new church on Sunday, because we’re trying to find a church that we can all dig our roots into as a family, since my husband and I had been attending different churches prior to meeting, and my husband’s former church is about a 45-minute drive away. My church didn’t quite suit him, so we wanted to find a church that works for all of us.
After the service, my daughter asked us what we thought of the church, the pastor, etc. My husband was tentative in his response: he kind of liked it, but needed a little more exposure to decide. I felt the same way. My daughter declared that she really liked the church and the pastor, and that we could just start dropping her off there on Sundays and we could find another church we liked better.
While I was thrilled that she liked the church–it was the first time she’s taken a liking to a church in a few years–I was not OK with her trying to separate us as a church-going family, and we made that clear to her.
In this age of texting, our kids are accustomed to separation, long-distance relationships, and “friendships” with people on Facebook they have never met face-to-face. But we were made for relationships–real, gut-level, in-the-trenches, eye-contact relationships. And we were also created to be part of a family, both a “home” family as well as a “church” family.
Like the goose, we need to have a flock that we are a part of. And even if that flock is simply another person who is coming alongside of us, be it a spouse or a best friend, we should never go it alone. And God wants our “flock” to be Christian, so that we support each other with truth. If we don’t have a Christian flock, here are some of the pitfalls:
- When there’s no one to go to church with–or look forward to meeting there–we have a tendency not to go. When we aren’t in fellowship with other Christians, we’ll have a tendency to lose fellowship with God.
- When there’s not another person supporting us in God’s truth, it’s way too easy to get misinformation. There is an ENORMOUS amount of misinformation on the internet, and it is leading many, many people down the wrong path. I just received a call from someone prior to writing this who said he’d heard on Facebook that when the U.S. goes to war with Syria, it’s the end of the world. Fortunately, he called me and I gave him the truth.
- When we don’t have someone to whom we’re accountable, we may not dig into the Word of God, and our hearts may grow cold toward Him.
- When we don’t have a flock, we also experience loneliness, depression, isolation and even poor health because of it.
- When we are involved in a Christian flock, we get the focus off of ourselves and onto the needs of others. This, then, brings us greater purpose, happiness and contentment in our lives.
I find it intriguing in the verse from Ecclesiastes above, that after talking about the benefits of having two people rather than one, the author (King Solomon), brings in the concept of three:
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
Hmmm…what exactly does he mean? Now, look at this statement from Jesus and see the correlation:
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20)
What Solomon was saying is that while two against one is a good thing, three against one is even better. There is truly strength in numbers. Consider now this: when there are two of us with Jesus in our midst, there is nothing we can’t do. Nothing and no one can come against us and overpower us. We have an unbeatable combination.
If we want power, truth, happiness and purpose, get with a Christian flock and stick with it. Even if that’s just simply a Christian accountability partner you can pray with. Or your spouse. Or your best friend. Don’t go it alone, or you might find yourself flying solo into a storm.