Summary: God designed us as individuals and as a church to rely on relationships with others to meet our full potential.
June 18, 2006
Introduction: Today we are looking at another aspect to what it means to be on a Life Quest. We have talked for the last two weeks about the first aspect of our mission statement, “To passionately pursue God.” Over the next several weeks we are going to be talking about the second half which is “to express his love to others.”
Our lives are made up not only of a personal journey with God, but with interpersonal relationships formed with other human beings. God designed us from the very beginning to be social creatures. He knew that we would need relationships and would need intimacy with others to fully function the way that he created us to live. Not only is that true of us individually, it is true of the church as a whole.
Today we want to look at a section of scripture that helps us to realize that we are not only created for relationships, but we are better off because of our relationships.
God created us to live in relationship.
“And the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him." Genesis 2:18 (NLT)
“You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (The Message)
Through our relationships we benefit each other.
“Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? 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 4:9-12 (NLT)
I. We accomplish more together
In the passages before the one we are looking at, the writer of the text has been talking about how life is filled with greedy people. He talks about how people toil and labor for their own gain. That kind of mindset is frustrating. It frustrates us to work selfishly.
“Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9
It is encouraging to work alongside a friend. We get energy and we support in our friendships.
It is in striving together that we see the value in relationships.
Have you ever tried to tackle a major task on your own? How did it make you feel? Were you overwhelmed? Were you frustrated?
Too often in life we take things in an individualistic mindset. We have an idea that we need to accomplish things on our own and not seek out help. The problem is, when we operate that way we get burnt out, overwhelmed and frustrated.
II. We need each other.
We are designed with a need for other people. Whether we realize it or not, we have a need for relationships in our lives. It is when we are stunted in our development of relationships that we become unhealthy individuals.
“If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:10
Relationships are designed to strengthen us.
Now, some relationships are energy giving and some are energy draining. But the key we need to understand is that we need to recognize our need to be vulnerable in our relationships in order to be healthy.
Jesus had some amazing relationships. He had people around him who he loved and poured his life into them. Scripture tells us that he also used those friends for support in his most difficult times.
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.” Matthew 26:36-37 (NIV)
At the major events in Jesus life we see him taking his disciples, but particularly Peter, James and John. Those three had a special relationship with Jesus and at his most trying time, he called on them for support.
The church was designed to be a support for one another. Scripture tells us to work to build one another up.
“We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things.” Hebrews 10:24 (God’s Word)
God gave individuals in the church specific gifts to help the church function together and support one another.
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV)