One Another Devotional - Day 4
Running Together: A Three-Stranded Cord
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NKJV)
Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
I was excited to go out for the cross country team because it was an opportunity to participate in an individual sport, one devoid of the politics and pressure of competing on a team. I would be the pilot of my own ship, free of team complications. I alone would determine my success.
It had sounded good, but I soon found my individualistic theory to be erroneous. For one, training on my own didn’t even bring me close to the level that I needed to be for a high school runner. Training with others pushed me. On the days that I felt low on motivation, other runners picked up the energy and forced the pace. I learned to mimic the strategies of older runners. My coaches provided much as well. So much for individual success. My growth depended on my willingness to learn from and be part of a team.
Our Christian walk is much the same. On my own I can be lazy, misguided, and easily go astray. Sharing insight and ideas with others gives me insight that I could never gain on my own. There are stages in my life where I struggle to walk strongly by myself. Due to difficult events or my own sin, I fall. Those are the times I need the advice and encouragement of others. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says that we should be a three stranded cord. When we have God to wrap around us as we walk with others, we have incredible strength.
Like a cross country runner, there is a certain amount of individual effort and discipline needed from me for my Christian walk. But even more important to reaching my full potential is the humility and perseverance to walk with God and learn from others that He has placed in my life.
1. Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. When was a time you had more success working with others rather than trying to do it alone?
2. When was a difficult time in your life when someone else came alongside you to help you along?