Many of us have a really bad habit. A habit that keeps us from fully realizing the true meaning of being a part of the body of Christ. One phrase sums up this habit perfectly, “I got this.” We are taught from a young to revere and respect people that struck out on their own—the pioneers that made their own way. We honor this way of life so much that we begin to think of it as the ideal, as something we should be striving for. We think this is the way I should be in all aspects of my life.
However, the truth is that we were always meant to face life together. Call it community. Call it family. Call it the body of Christ. We were meant to share the hard times we face with those close to us, and at the same time we are supposed to be available for those close to us when they face hard times.
I love the way the Message puts Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
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!
Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.
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.
This seems like an obvious truth but there are times it seems like we actively reject help. Have you ever helped a friend move and seen someone pick up a box that is clearly too heavy for them? They are sweating, struggling, and swearing under their breath; and when help is offered, they put on a brave face and lie through their teeth, “No thanks, I got this.”
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Accepting help when it is offered is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you have faith in the body of Christ to come through for you. God never told us to do life alone. Jesus never told anyone that the solution to their problem is to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. We are in this together!