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No Man is an Island

Posted by Pat Cooper on

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.
— Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT

There will always be days that are harder than others, but today doesn’t have to be one of those days. If you are a believer in community with other followers of Christ, then you have a support system you can tap into anytime, where true and godly friends stand at the ready to share your burdens and lighten your load. So then, why do we continue to struggle? Why is it that, in spite of placing faith in Christ, the weight of our burdens remain? Possibly because we fail to make use of the resources God has provided, such as community.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
— Helen Keller

In my studies and my work, I have found resilience in the face of tragedy to be demonstrated most successfully by individuals with strong social connections, people in community with others. For example, case studies seeking to understand the ability of 9/11 survivors to integrate successfully back into society after having suffered such tragic and paralyzing losses found that faith, friends and family were key factors in addressing their grief and their ability to return to a state of functionality in the workplace, the marketplace and at home.

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
— Genesis 2:18

Although we understand this verse as pointing specifically to God’s creating woman, it also makes clear mankind’s inability to function in accordance with God’s plan apart from being in community with others.

Writing to the believers in Philippi, the apostle Paul tells them:

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
— Philippians 2:4

Then, in Galatians he writes:

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
— Galatians 6:2–3

Or, as the poet John Donne wrote:

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less…

— John Donne, No Man is an Island

The bottom line is that I need you, you need me, and we need each other. Why?

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.
— Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT

I pray those reading this today are part of a team of believers and are believers themselves. If not, you should be. You can be. Today you can invite Christ into your life and be saved. Next, find a Bible-believing church where you can be part of a supportive team of like-minded people. And should you need help in your decision for Christ or in choosing a place to worship, we would love to hear from you.

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