The Power of Togetherness

Two people are better than one,because they can reap more benefit from their labor.
For if they fall, one will help his companion up,but pity the person who falls down and has no one to help him up.
Furthermore, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm,but how can one person keep warm by himself?
Although an assailant may overpower one person, two can withstand him.
Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken.
Eccl 4:9-12 (NET)

This quote came back to mind today as my wife stood alongside me, encouraging me to pursue my dream to go to Tampa to attend a conference on deliverance ministry when I thought that the cost was too high, as I missed the deadline for the airplane fare and the cost subsequently went up. She told me, “You give up too easily… you’ve come too far to give up now – and I won’t let you.” I didn’t want to call the travel agency back. I didn’t want to fight anymore … but she is too stubborn (love you honey!) to listen to a “No”.

That Scripture in Ecclesiastes speaks to the community element of the Body of Christ; as people have said, there are many “one another’s” in the Scripture (‘love one another’, ‘confess your faults one to another’….) If we don’t stand together, we will fall separately, as a great writer has said.

Togetherness is not always easy, either. As Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.” (NET) The word translated ‘faithful’ in this context shows that the wounds of a friend can be trusted because they are meant to help and not destroy – but that doesn’t mean that they are easy to take!

Yesterday, everyone from SHARP got a rather pointed (pun intended) email from the church’s accountant… we were given a rebuke that really hit me between the eyes. All of us were not giving as we should, but still reaping the benefits of those that were giving faithfully; we were also chided for not letting requests for funds be known in advance so that money could be allocated efficiently.

It affected me personally because I was guilty of letting my personal financial struggles dictate what I gave to the church; I’m sure that was the case in other people’s lives as well.  It wasn’t easy to hear – actually, I must admit I felt bummed about being called out (and Satan conveniently attacked with some condemning thoughts as well.)  BUT – I know that it was for our good, so that our church could grow up into maturity as responsible believers.

So – remember that your friends aren’t the ones who tell you want you want to hear – they tell you what you need to hear.  It is that kind of thing that the church needs – true community, that makes iron sharpen iron (no pun that time!) That sharpening process is painful, because it causes friction, but it makes each person better in the long run.


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