Acts 27:3 – Julius was very kind to Paul and let him go ashore to visit with friends so they could provide for his needs. (NLT)
Proverbs 14:20 – The rich have many "friends". (NLT)
I am a pretty independent person. I have seen this so many times in my life. How I've noticed this recently is in playing the piano at church. Years ago in many churches, the piano was the only instrument. For years I played the piano in church, both for congregational singing and in accompanying special vocal contributions. The song leader was supposed to set the tempo, and I was to follow that. Most of the time, though, the leader wouldn't lead, so I would unconsciously take over and set the tempo. With only one instrument, it was me who was the musician. I didn't have to work with anyone (except the song leader who wouldn't lead) to co-ordinate the sounds. There was no input. It was an individual effort, and one could get lonely.
The church we now attend is huge. I am learning to play the synthesizer, as part of a band. The drummer is the one who sets the tempo, and the rest of us follow that. We have built relationships with each other in order to produce good music from the band. We are really a small group — supporting one another, making suggestions, adjusting to benefit the whole.
God made us for relationships. We need them. We need accountability. We need input into our lives from trusted individuals. We were not made to live independently. Let's remember that we need others in our lives to help us grow. Let's purposefully build our relationships. That is what God wants. Life is pretty lonely without meaningful relationships. Of course, our first and foremost relationship is to be with Jesus Christ. Then it is to be with others. We need each other.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, so many times we go off on our own and try to live independently. That can be very lonely. Thank You that You created us for healthy relationships. Help us to nurture those relationships in which others will support us, speak truth into our souls, and accept us exactly as we are. Thank You that You are a God of relationships. Amen.