Together: the adverb not the adjective; within proximity not self-confident is essential to mankind.
You have undoubtedly heard phrases such as:
Now more than ever we need to take heed.
We need community to grow and succeed. We were created for relationships.
There are many examples in the scriptures of the benefit of community. Peter in jail, he was released as the church interceded for him (Acts 12). Moses choosing others to help him minister, his father-in-law recognizing the need for him to reach out ( Exodus 18).
There is danger in going it alone physically, emotionally and spiritually!
Spiritually, when we try to exist on our own *
Proverbs 11:14 NKJV Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
2. We do not have people to support, comfort or encourage us
Hebrews 3:13 NKJV but [a] exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. [a] encourage
3. We can’t grow and mature spiritually because we are not in fellowship
Ephesians 4:13 NKJV till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
4. We are in danger of falling into temptation or going down a destructive path
Proverbs 27:17 NKJV As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
5. We feel helpless and abandoned
1 John 4:18 NKJV There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
6. We make harmful decisions
Psalm 68:6 NKJV God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
“Close relationships are characterized by relatively high levels of trust, love, knowledge, commitment and intimacy….Friendships can be intense and are of enormous psychological importance in our lives,…” **
Research has shown loneliness can play a role in early death. Healthy relationships early in life affect physical and mental health in childhood and beyond. In times of stress relationships can protect against negative effects. During peaceful times relationships foster positive emotions, personal growth and health promoting behaviors.
Having friends is associated with increased self esteem, decreased depression, protection from victimization. ***
The way we connect has changed. Social media has increased and decreased our ability to connect and have relationship with others.
While we can interact with many all over the world, we do not and can not build relationships which allow for mutual vulnerability and support. No one is completely transparent on social sites and they should not be. Trust is developed over time in the safety of a relationship.
The American Psychological Association, is advocating making close relationships a public health priority. As relationships are considered an important health determinant I’ll leave you with a question:
Can we be together while apart?
Hebrews 10:25 NKJV not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
During these times we need to be together even if it is just our nuclear family.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 NKJV Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
*YouVersion; The Power of Community in Life Daniel Cole and Friends from Sandton Connect Group