And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.Ecclesiastes 4:12
If you’ve never read Robinson Crusoe, you should. It’s a classic book filled with all kinds of spiritual lessons. It was written by Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk, who spent four years on an uninhabited Pacific island after a shipwreck and lived to tell the tale. Shipwrecks often fascinate us don’t they? Whether it’s Tom Hanks in Castaway, the TV series Lost, or Gilligan’s Island, stories of being stranded capture our imagination. Have you ever thought about being shipwrecked yourself and what you would do, especially if you were away from land and adrift in the ocean? The first thing most people do is gather together with other survivors by lashing their rafts together or pulling their planks of wood into a makeshift raft. Drifting apart lessens the chance of survival while staying together gives comfort and hope as you float for days in the open sea.
As humans we all know that we are better together. The Bible says that a braided rope is stronger than a single rope. You get that image don’t you? If you had a thin rope and you lashed your rafts together it wouldn’t hold as well through the storm as if you braided that rope together with two others, then it would not be quickly broken. The same is true for friendship; when we gather together we are stronger. The Christian walk isn’t meant to be walked alone. We are stronger when we do it together.
It can be easier to isolate yourself, or even your whole family from the body, but isolation isn’t the life of faith. While you might have an affinity for certain people and prefer to spend most of your time with them, there is power giving up personal desires in favor of the whole, caring for the entire body, spending time with the unlovely, and participating in things you wouldn’t otherwise participate in. It’s all a part of not forsaking to meet together. We don’t meet together to please ourselves and to make BFFs, but to glorify God and to serve Him, and we are better at that (and God desires that) together than we are apart.
Questions to ponder
If you were deserted on an island, what are three things you couldn’t live without? What three people?
What are some activities you could participate in with other believers that would encourage your gathering together?
This week look for someone who you haven’t previously spent time with to talk with, encourage, or just be with.