By: Casey Bonilla
Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” There’s a lot that this verse, that this story, can unpack, and it carries a lot of weight in the kingdom today. But what God says here is a point reiterated and emphasized throughout the Bible – that man should not be alone.
Surrounding ourselves with the body of Christ is an essential part of walking with Jesus for many reasons. Fellowship, encouragement, teaching, learning, support, and accountability are some of these. Fellow believers are our family, should be treated as such, and need to work together to function properly.
Walking with others not only enhances our personal journeys with Jesus, but it is crucial to the kingdom as well. When Jesus sends out his disciples to spread the good word, he sends them out “two by two” (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1). Though there’s no explanation for this, and could be for a number of reasons, one thing is clear – they were not sent out alone. Could they have reached more villages and people if they were sent out alone, to more places? Probably. But they were sent together. With a partner they could support one another, learn from one another, and perhaps even challenge one another. Even though sometimes we might think we can handle this walk alone, remember that even the disciples had help. As it goes, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
Sharpening is not an easy process, but a necessary one, and an inevitable one if we are growing closer in our relationship to God. We are called to love one another as Christ loved us, but that love can mean doing what is right, even when it is difficult. It requires truth, even when it is hard to face. Sometimes we are blind to our own downfalls, and it becomes the role of our family in Christ to step in and set us back on the right path.
We are also told to hold one another accountable. To ask the tough questions. To be honest and vulnerable with one another. It requires transparency, and this requires close relationship. We need each other in this world. James writes, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). How will you know when someone is wandering if you are not walking with them?
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Not neglecting to meet together. It can be all too easy to get caught up in our worldly lives, or even in our personal journeys. (Especially for my introverts out there – I see you). In today’s world, this means making time to meet intentionally. It means actively encouraging one another as we run this race together. If God can work miracles through an individual, how much more can we glorify him as a functioning body of Christ? “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). This is not to say that God is not with us when we are alone, but rather to say that we are not meant to be alone. (Yes, we are instructed to pray alone, and sometimes go off alone to spend time with God, but this is never permanent.) We all have a role to play in a Kingdom much larger than our own lives.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Given that we live in a broken world, it can often feel like we are alone in our beliefs as Christians. We can be made to feel different, to feel isolated, or to not feel that sense of belonging we so long for. If you feel alone today, know that the Lord has a family in Christ prepared for you. It was never his intention for us to walk alone. Begin to ask Him to reveal those around you who can grow alongside you, and begin to seek out others running this race. You might be surprised who you end up on this journey with. I pray that all who might feel lonely today will find their community rooted in truth and love, to both encourage and to sharpen.