“It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth.  And if one falls down, the other helps, but if there’s no one to help, tough!…By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10,12 (MSG)


When you play tug of war, you always have a rope that can withstand the weight and pressure of both teams.  The strength of the rope allows both teams not to break it.  And, the team on your side helps you win.  You could play tug of war one-on-one, but it is more fun when there is a team.

When we are born, we need help with everything.  We rely on our parents to care for us, feed us, and clothe us.  As we grow up, we have this internal desire for independence and to make it on our own.  If we can just do it, we can prove that we did it. Yet, in our desire for independence and individual success, we can alienate ourselves from the very people God has placed in our lives to help us.  Even further, we can alienate ourselves from God.  We want to prove to Him that we can succeed, while He simply wants to help us accomplish what He put in our hearts to do.  In Ecclesiastes, Solomon is sharing a priceless lesson.  We are benefited by strategically linking arms with people rather than doing life alone. We need to link arms with people who are going to push us toward accomplishing our dreams, and most importantly, lead us closer to God.  And, we receive the most benefit from linking arms with others when we link arms with God.  God is not asking us to be independent.  He wants us to be so dependent on Him that when we face life, we are no longer facing it alone.  So instead of striving for independence, let’s link arms with God this year and see what He will do as we link arms with others.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.