It’s Dangerous to Go it Alone
We live in a “lone wolf” society. I’ll do it myself. I’d rather go it alone. I can do it better than others. Watch me pull myself up by my own bootstraps. You might even consider yourself a lone wolf who doesn’t need a pack. But do you know what happens to a lone wolf in the wild? They don’t tend to live long. Wolves survive and thrive best in a pack. We were created by a relational God who expresses his good desire for community through his Trinitarian relationships between the Father, Son, and Spirit. We were designed to live in community, but sin often drives us to do life alone. And often when we try to do life together, it’s all for the wrong reasons.
It’s dangerous to do life alone. So, how can we do life together?
First, let’s look at some diagnostic questions that help us determine whether or not we are going it alone:
God has something to say about the quality of our relationships and their purpose. We were created to do life together and the Apostle Paul shares in Hebrews 10:24-25 what we ought to be united around as Christians, and the purpose of our encouragement.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT).
There are two encouragements for us in this passage and one great overarching reason. First, Paul desires us to consider our influence on others. Did you know that you have influence? Even if you feel like you are at the bottom of the totem pole in your social circles or that people do not respect you, it is important to remember that you can affect change in the people around you.
Since we can influence others, we need to consider how we use our influence. Paul calls us to “motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” If we are honest with ourselves, most of the time I am not motivating others to love and good works. Rather, I am often using my influence to better my circumstances or make life easier for me. Our influence is a gift, and we need to consider how it is being used.
Second, Paul desires us to consider others’ influence on us. He encourages us to not neglect meeting together with other brothers and sisters. The relationships in my life that need to be cultivated are those with brothers and sisters in Christ. These are the people who should be prioritized and will be the people who have the most influence over me. We often teach this to students and tell them to “show me your friends and I will show you your future.” If you want your future you to be closer to Christ, then you need friends who are driving you to that future.
Finally, Paul gives us an overarching reason that we should consider the influence that we have over others and the influences others have on us. We consider these things because Christ is coming back. There is a timer set for this world. Christ is coming back to judge the living and the dead. Paul knows this and wants us to feel the urgency of Christ’s return and the importance of preparation. Are we prioritizing the correct relationships in light of Christ’s return? Are we using our influence correctly in light of Christ’s return?
Life is hard enough and is made harder by our tendency to go it alone. Christ is coming back, and in preparation, let us consider the influence we have on others and the influences others have on us.