You Weren't Created to Do Life Alone
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. A bundle of sticks is hard to break. There are some advantages to going it alone. But there are also dangers in trying to make it through life all by ourselves. Sometimes when we are trying to make it on our own, it’s easy to get broken. It’s our choice and if we want, we can decide to go it alone. Or we can decide to “bundle” with other believers. There are distinct advantages to this option also. In fact, this is the way that God intended us to life.
1. WHEN I BUNDLE WITH OTHERS THERE WILL BE SOMEONE THERE TO PICK ME UP WHEN I FALL DOWN
Eccl. 4:10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
No matter how self-reliant and capable we may be, sooner or later something is going to knock us down. All of us are going to fall. It might be because of decisions we make or because of events that are out of our control. It could be an unexpected career setback. We may lose our job. Or it could be a health problem. We may have family problems.
The truth is, eventually, something is going to come into our life that will rock us to the core. When that happens, we are going to need someone to stand alongside us. Someone to help us hold on when life was falling apart. Someone to encourage us to never give up even when those around us are. Someone to pray for us and remind us of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Someone to help us slowly get to our feet and begin to put our lives back together again. We need friends.
If we bundle with other sticks we will find friends, people who can pick us up when we fall. And if we bundle with other sticks WE will be there to help someone else who needs to be picked up. That’s why we encourage everyone to get in a Life Group. Chances are that there is someone in our group who will fall down sometime this year and will need someone to help them get back on their feet again. It just may be that God has placed us in that group so that we will be there to do just that.
2. WHEN I BUNDLE WITH OTHERS I FIND WARMTH.
Eccl. 4:11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?
You know what happens if you rub two sticks together? If you rub them together long enough you get fire. Fire provides warmth, and most of us could use a little more warmth in our lives.
Sometimes, because life can be cold, you just need a hug. When you need a hug – you need a friend. I hope you have someone in your life that brings you warmth. I hope that we are bringing warmth to someone else’s life.
Did you know that, every time we encourage someone when they’ve had a hard day, every time we offer a kind word or a compliment, every time we give someone a hug we bring warmth? If we bundle with other sticks we will find warmth.
3. WHEN I BUNDLE WITH OTHERS I WILL FIND PROTECTION
Eccl. 4:12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
When these words were written most military combat, was hand-to-hand. Soldiers went into battle with a partner, someone that could be counted on and trusted completely. They would stand back to back of one another, and always keep their backs in contact so that they could fight off whatever enemy came from any side.
In a sense that’s what friends do. They guard our back and help protect us. Sometimes we need protection from ourselves, from temptations that are hard to resist. If you’ve ever tried to break a bad habit you know what this is like. Often it’s knowing that someone is walking with us that keeps us from stumbling and falling to temptation.
4. WHEN I BUNDLE WITH OTHERS I GROW
Friends help us to grow. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way:
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Think of a blacksmith who makes swords. He takes an iron hammer and takes a piece of iron and works on it slowly and continuously until it takes the shape and sharpness of a sword. Friends are like that, always challenging us and even pushing us to be all that God wants for us to be.
That’s what happens when a stick decides not to go it alone, but instead bundle with other sticks – we develop a deeper relationship with God – and we grow. This is God’s vision for His church: a bunch of fragile sticks bundling together.
- To pick each other up when we fall down.
- To keep each other warm.
- To protect one another.
- To make each other stronger.
Now, again, we don’t have to bundle with the other sticks. If we want we can continue to live life on our own, doing the best we can. But that’s not they way God intended it to be. We were created to be a part of a loving community.