Full of Connections But Lacking Relationships

Ecclesiastes 4:1 states a very simple truth: “Two are better than one…”

It’s not a new truth; in fact, it’s one of the first things we hear from the Lord in the Bible:

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18).

As human beings, we were not meant to live in isolation; we are meant for each other. That “each other” includes all kinds of relationships – marriages, church groups, and just basic friendships included. In all these cases, two are better than one.

While that seems obvious, it’s a truth that needs to be re-embraced today. After all, we live in a culture that has never been more connected and yet never more isolated. We might have hundreds or thousands of virtual connections without any of those connections ever moving into a genuine, deep relationship. Now, more than ever, we need to deeply believe and live out this reality of relationship.

Here, then, are three reasons why two are better than one:

1. Because we have different gifts.

Ecclesiastes 4 continues like this:

Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their labor…

This is, of course, true in almost any general sense – two people working at the same time are most often going to produce more and better things than just one. But in the church, this truth takes on another meaning.

We are all gifted differently, and each of those gifts plays a part in serving the church. I can’t do everything, and neither can you; and we shouldn’t try. It’s only when each person understands their own gifts and is willing to give those gifts to the service of the church that the entire body of Christ grows together.

2. Because we can help each other grow.

More from Ecclesiastes 4:

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 (Ecc. 4:10).

This next section certainly tells us about how people help each other in practical ways, but again in the context of the church, these verses help us see how we can specifically help each other. Surely growing in Christ seems very much like these verses – we walk with Jesus, we trip and stumble, and then we get up and have to keep going in obedience. It’s this process of walking, tripping, and then continuing on that we engage in as we try and follow Jesus.

And when we do trip and fall, we need someone in our lives to help us get up. To encourage us to keep going. And to walk alongside us and let us know there is still grace to be had.

3. Because we can remind each other of the truth.

Ecclesiastes 4 concludes like this:

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecc. 4:11-12).

The imagery here is of comfort; it’s of one person being in need and the other person coming to their aid. This, too, is a daily reality in the church. We are forgetful people; we find ourselves in a season of difficulty, trouble, sadness, or mourning, and we tend to forget what we know to be true about God and His love for us.

It’s then that we need someone to remind us of these things. To comfort us. To defend us. To help us remember what is true.

In a world that is full of connections but lacking in relationships, this is something we need to remember – two are still better than one.

Read more from Michael Kelley »

This article originally appeared on thinke.org and is reposted here by permission.

Michael Kelley
Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley is director of Discipleship at LifeWay Christian Resources and the author of Growing Down: Unlearning the Patterns of Adulthood that Keep Us from Jesus.