Read: Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
While being alone for a time is often helpful, forced solitary confinement serves its purpose by breaking a human being down – mentally, physically and spiritually in many cases. So why would a follower of Christ willing isolate himself from others?
We were created as social beings and most agree that there is great strength found in deep relationships with others. When a follower of Christ begins to avoid being around others, it is usually a sign of decline. I’ve seen it happen time and time again over the years and we should each take time to reach out to those who are drifting away.
In his book, Winning People, John Maxwell underscores the strength found in numbers with this quote from the Army Field Manual:
“A one soldier fighting position (foxhole)…does not have the security of a three-soldier position… One soldier can provide security; one can do priority work; and one can rest, eat, or perform maintenance. This allows the priority of work to be completed more quickly than the one-soldier or two- soldier position…It is more difficult for the enemy to destroy this type of position. To do so, the enemy must kill or suppress three soldiers.”
Ecclesiastes encourages us as well –
“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! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
What is the significance of that last statement? Ecclesiastes gives us examples of two working together, keeping warm and protecting each other, but who is the third in the threefold cord? Friendships based on a common cord of Faith in Christ strengthen us.
So, are we in relationships that encourage and hold us accountable or are we in a self-imposed solitary confinement of sorts?