Two Are Better Than One
Read Ecclesiastes Chapter 4
Ecc 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
I once wrote an article about the danger of isolation. In the SSA world, isolation sometimes falsely appears to be our closest or only friend. Most of us suffered alone for a long time, sometimes for many years, with our same-sex attractions. It seemed that our only option was to closet (no pun intended) ourselves, locked up in a world of secrecy. We did not know how freeing it would be to share our secret world with someone. Each person reading this will be at a slightly different place in this regard.
Some may have opened up their lives to everyone they know, including their church family. Others may have only shared their struggle with a certain group of people, or maybe only a small select few. Obviously, you are somewhere in that picture, otherwise you would not be reading this devotion. So why bring up the subject? Believe me, there is indeed a good reason for us to take another look at this problem, even though each of us have already begun to break down our walls of silence. Each of us, if we are not careful, can slide back into some level of secrecy and isolation, even though it might not be full blown. Here are two streams of thought in regard to why we need to have Christian support in our struggle.
Accountability. As we face daily temptations, we may have a tendency to venture back into some area of same-sex thoughts or deeds and wish to remain there. If we are not diligent in confiding in an accountability partner, we can quickly become comfortable with some small secret corner of SSA. It is unlikely that we will be able to let go of our secret if we do not let someone know where we are. We must have a trustworthy someone with whom we can share everything about our lives. Even if we aren’t really interested in letting that person talk us out of our little dalliance, we still must let them know what’s going on in our lives. At the least they can pray, and it also gives them an opportunity to deliver some words of wisdom.
Depression. This is perhaps the greatest cause of isolation. When we are depressed, we don’t want any interaction with anyone. As we all know, isolation is the worst thing we can do when we are depressed. As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “Two are better than one.” And, “If one falls down, his friend can help him up.” It’s all well and good to say that God is our only source of hope during our times of depression. But we forget that God places others in our lives for a purpose; that is, to be His representative for our benefit.
I experienced a severe period of depression when I was thirty years old. I’ve had a few minor bouts with it since, but the one back then was extremely dark. I just wanted to crawl into a shell and seal myself shut away from the rest of the world. But I could not because of work, church, and family. A dear lady friend, a mentor from church, sat down with me for hours at a time, giving words of encouragement and hope. Her words didn’t help at first. But over time they began to register in my heart. I cannot imagine how I could have survived without her persistence.
We need each other! God created us to be social creatures, desiring and needing fellowship. To isolate is totally contrary to His will and purpose for our lives. The Christian community is a vital source of encouragement, comfort, and hope. “Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
Prayer: We give thanks for our Christian brothers and sisters, those with whom we can share our deepest thoughts. Give us the willingness to reach out for help, and also to reach out to help others. Your plan is perfect!