Today you are in the best of health, with a great career, achieving all your life goals.
Tomorrow you are struck by a critical illness, unable to do anything for yourself, at the mercy of others.
How often have you heard the saying “no man is an island, no man stands alone?”
Yet in this 21st century there is an increased call for secrecy, a stripping of friendships and an idolized view of putting oneself first.
My family and I recently came off vacation with a group of friends and this conversation of ‘dependence’ came up. At the hotel, we realized that omelettes were served for breakfast every morning. I said to my husband, “wow! Can you imagine how many eggs the hotel would need to provide omelettes to all its guests, using two (2) eggs each time?”
The conversation then ventured into thinking of the people on whom the hotel would depend to provide eggs to meet this demand, which led to further examination of our interdependence in business, but more as individuals.
The basics of community
Dependence is the foundation of Christianity.
Mankind was dying in sin, being deceived by the enemy of our souls and needed salvation. In response; Christ died, sacrificing himself to redeem you and me.
Mothers and fathers, who form the first institution of community i.e. family, sacrifice daily for the betterment of their children, catering to their emotional, physical and even spiritual needs.
This is dependence personified - each one serving each other. It is through service that we establish and maintain communities.
Silence the deceiving voice
All throughout scripture, we are encouraged to serve one another. Philippians Chapter 2 verses 3 – 8 tells us
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
I know that in our humanity we are prone to hurt and to be hurt, but that should never override our desire for each other and the great accomplishments we can achieve together. Remember that Christ humbled himself being obedient even to death. Why? Because we needed him. We therefore must seek to emulate our Heavenly Father.
I often hear people negate the importance of people in their lives and perpetuate the rhetoric of being alone as the better option in living a great life.
But I encourage you not to listen to that dissenting voice; it will only be to our own detriment. We need one another.
We’re made for each other
In the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 4 verses 9 -12, Solomon outlines the importance of community.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Marriages work because the two parties involved commit to serving each other.
Friendships survive traumatic circumstances, because friends stay committed to working together.
Family endure adversity because they rely on each otherfor strength.
The giftings, creativity, perspectives and differences in each of us is for the benefit of all of us. We need encouragement, support and sometimes a helping hand to get through the roughest obstacles in life.
The story of the paralytic man healed by Jesus found in Luke chapter 5 verses 17 -26 is the perfect example of our need for each other.
The opportunity of a lifetime was presented. Jesus, the healer was in town and this paralytic man had the greatest need and the greatest challenge. He would have missed his healing if not for his four friends.
We know nothing of the paralytic, we are not told how old he was, what he did for a living or what kind of man he was. The commitment of his friends, however, is sufficient for us to comprehend the character of man he was.
In his greatest moment of need, his four friends were willing to go the extra mile for him to receive an encounter that would change his life forever. The faith of these friends is exaggerated by their persistent action to dig through a roof to have their friend receive healing from Jesus. If the proverb “show me your friends and I tell you who you are” is true, then this paralytic was a man fully dedicated to his community – a life lived in great service to others.
Let us never forget that we all belong to one body and just as the body is made up of different parts working together - so are we.
You need me and I need you.
Dacia Miller from Jamaica, West Indies is a wife, mother and trained communicator who enjoys dancing. She is involved in youth ministry and loves to see lives transformed.