Summary: ME OR WE? – (Part 1)
Take a moment and poke yourself in the bellybutton (I’d tell you to poke your neighbor, but that might get us into trouble!) Our navel is a constant reminder that we all started life connected to another human being (Dr. Richard Dobbins, founder Emerge Ministries). We spend all of our lives trying to get reconnected to someone. God created us as relational people.
✎ Of all our five children, Mikey has worked the hardest to get reattached to his mother. As soon as he was able to reach Susie’s hair as an infant, he started grabbing hold of it. Mikey developed an art of playing with a curl of Susie’s hair held in his hand and pushed on with his thumb. Seven years later Mikey will still get into bed to cuddle or sit in Mommy’s lap and grab a fist full of hair. Mikey doesn’t want to go through life alone. When he’s not holding onto Mom, he sitting on Dad’s shoulders, wrestling with his brother or holding a boy-friend’s hand as they walk and play (I’m sure that all too soon he will graduate to wanting to hold a girl’s hand).
This morning we begin a new series of messages which I’m calling “ME OR WE?” Although we have a need for interdependence many of us often seek “ME-dependence” (that is, Independence with a capital “I”).
You can summarize this entire series of messages in one sentence: THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE SHOULD BE “WE” NOT “ME”.
This theme runs through out the Bible, but I’ve picked one verse as the foundation for this entire series; I hope we all memorize it, but more importantly I pray we all live it!
+ Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (NIV) – Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. (MsgB)
1. THIS IS NOT A SUGGESTION! God does not tell us to try or to do our best. This is a command; put simply God is telling us, “LIVE LIKE THIS.”
A. God’s plan for interdependence began with Adam and Eve and continues from the beginning to you and me today.
Your bellybutton is a reminder that you are reaching out to hold someone’s hand–to get reconnected with someone. I don’t know if Adam and Eve had a bellybutton or not (although they did have the fingerprint of God), however, God saw that it was not good for man to be alone.
Think about it; Adam had personal relationship with His Creator, but God knew that was not enough. As God looked at everything He had created God said, “It’s good,” but when God saw Adam alone the Lord said, “This is not good.”
Adam needed the companionship of someone like him–a suitable helpmate. You know the rest of the story don’t you? God created a work of art and gave her to the man, and Adam said, “Wow what a woman!” Well that’s not exactly what Adam said, but it’s a good paraphrase. The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.” (Genesis 2:23 MsgB)
When God sees Adam and Eve together with everything He had created, God says, “This is very good!” What changed? Did God make the sky a little bluer, or the grass greener? No, in all of creation only one thing had changed; God put man and woman together. Creation went from good to very good.
B. WE NEED EACH OTHER! No one is meant to try to go through life alone. Is it any wonder that one of the worst forms of punishment is solitary confinement?
Throughout the Bible we see individuals interacting relationally and connected with others. God said it was not good for man (or woman) to be alone; he made us to be interdependent upon each other.
Now lest you think our need for one another is limited to marriage, let me quickly point out some of these well know biblical friendships.
● Jonathan and David ● Abraham and Lot
● Moses and Aaron ● Ruth and Naomi
● Peter, James and John ● Mary and Martha
● Paul with Barnabas, and Silas
We need each other!
Many of you will probably recognize this song. “It make you want to go where everybody know your name, and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name.” The theme song for the 80’s TV sitcom “Cheers” shows us how all of us are longing to be accepted by others. No one wants to go through life alone.
The theme song for “Cheers” set in a Boston bar could be the theme song for the local church. The sad fact is that the local bar makes a great substitute for what the local church is supposed to be.