The wisest man who ever lived, (other than Jesus) stated:
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
In life, work, play, and just about everywhere, two are better than one. Most of us like some alone time, but in general terms, hardly anyone likes to be alone all the time. I know, there are hermits, but most people reading a blog are not one. I also wonder if the hermit types began that way, or ended up choosing the lifestyle after living with other people, but that thought is for another time.
The advantages of being with others outweigh the disadvantages, at least most of the time. Being alone makes us vulnerable to deception. We need others to bring a perspective that we do not have. I do not really think any two people process everything alike in every possible situation no matter how close they align with someone else. We all have a perspective, and we all need others to help balance us out. Jesus did not need balancing out because He was perfect. We are not Jesus.
We will learn a great deal about ourselves by being with others. If we are alone all the time we may think we are wonderful people. However, if we spend time with others, they may not share our opinion. By our self, we do not possess enough facts to see the picture we present to others. As we learn how to interact with those around us, clarity comes.
Our flesh sometimes reacts to another’s flesh. “Why are they so self-focused?” we ask. Of course, what prompted that thought was that they were getting the attention we wanted, but we will not go there. “Why do they think they are always right?” we whine. Here is a news flash, they probably do not, and we are not always right either. They might just disagree with us, and that rubs us wrong.
On the positive side, if we learn how to embrace the differences we will grow and be stronger. Not everyone thinks like we do, and that is a good thing because we are not always correct. We need others. We need someone that is different to help us see the situation from another point of view. Together we will see clearer and make a better decision than alone. This is Biblical:
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22
Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war. Proverbs 20:18
When the early church was struggling, a council was called. Acts 15 gives us some insight into how the meeting proceeded. Through discussion, prayer, acceptance of something totally outside of the current understanding, God’s will came into view. Godly men listened to other godly men and a great victory was achieved.
Most churches and businesses have some sort of plurality of leadership structure. Why? Because we all know that someone by themselves, will not make as good of decisions, as someone making them in agreement with others. None of us possess all the wisdom or experience to assure that we are correct all the time.
In order for this concept to work, it takes humility and an environment for freedom of expression of opinions. Husbands that refuse to listen to their wives are cutting off a huge supply of God-given wisdom. Pastors that will not accept advice or insights from the other leaders are destined to have an audience of one. Business owners that will not adapt, or allow their employees to have input rarely keep them.
I believe it is by Design that we are meant to live in community and in personal relationships. The hermit is the one that is outside of the norm, not the person that wants to be around others. God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” He met that need through a companion. We are created with the need for others. Pride, arrogance, and ego often keep us from learning how much we need one another.
Solomon knew this principle. By our self, we will be overcome easily. If we join with another, it is much harder to take us down. If we tie ourselves with many others we will have what we call the Church, and the gates of hell will not overpower us. That is a promise from Her Builder.