Monday, January 11, 2016

friendship is the first reward

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!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

We are made for community. It is not healthy to be alone. The way in which scripture reminds us of this divine design is simple yet very significant. Way back in Genesis God knew that it was not good for man to be alone. And so Eve was made as well as Adam. They were given to each other. God is trinity in community and people were made by Him to be in community as well, with family being the first such experience.

The wisdom of Solomon in Ecclesiastes brings the king to make pithy comments on the absolute practicality of community. At the base level, we need other people to get things done in life. Solomon's observation is that we get a good reward for our toil, and I think friendship is the first reward. But we also have protection and help coming through our friendships.

The "woe" in verse ten is very real though. We all need a little help every now and then. I know I do. And without someone to pick us up when we fall, how can we ever move on? Friends in community are there for those difficulties, and Christian friends are a priceless treasure. They help us celebrate the good times and commiserate with us by encouraging us through the hard times. They cheer us on and they pick us up. Friends are God's first line of encouragement. Cultivate them well! God will bless you through them.

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