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Thursday, March 22, 2012

WE vs. ME

We is always ________________ than me.”

What fits in the blank?  What would you put in?  For some, “We” is a word of disappointment and pain.  Friends, family, church, bosses, co-workers, neighbors have let them down so the blank is filled with decidedly negative thoughts.  It may be the temptation to fill it in with “more disappointing”, “more unsafe”, “more hurtful”, etc.  The challenge of life leads to greater isolation from others because – so the thinking goes – if you don’t get close to me, you can’t hurt me.
            But no one wants to be alone and lonely.  Sure, we all want our space at times but we were designed for relationship on pretty much every level – emotionally, physically, sexually, spiritually, mentally.  There is a reason that solitary confinement is a known effective punishment that can eventually lead to complete breakdown – emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.
            So, what would the Bible put in the blank?  What is the Biblical benefit of the “We” in our life?  How about this:  better, stronger, wiser, safer, richer.  Sure there is a cost – like my wife reminded me, we always uses more toilet paper than me!  How true, how true.  Especially when the “we” are kids.

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14, ESV)
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22, ESV)
A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 24:5–6, ESV)
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12, ESV)

            “We” is how God intended us and created us.  But there are many who are far from “We” and lost in “Me.”  There was an article in the November/December 2010 AARP Magazine entitled All The Lonely People.  (OK jokers - no, it isn't my subscription!)  A few of things they discovered:  Over 44 million people are lonely and long to connect to someone else.  Most are ashamed that they are lonely and it drives them further away.  The highest percentage of people who suffer loneliness are those in their 40’s and 50’s but it affects all ages.  And, there was a 15% jump up to 35% who would be defined as chronically lonely from a similar survey 10 years previous.
            Now, let me ask you a simple question and the answer is not Disneyland:  What should be the least lonely people/place in the world?  The answer?  The Church!  But, I’ll bet our statistics aren’t a whole lot further off.  I’ve known many who have wandered away from CSCC and, after a little prodding, their reason was they didn’t connect – they were in a big group of people, all alone.  That breaks my heart.
            The essence of being a disciple is to Love God with everything we have and to Love People sacrificially.  Being a disciple of Jesus means we step out of our comfort zone to make room in our lives, reach out and just start loving people.  It starts with simple conversation – noticing when people are there and when they aren’t and then reaching out to them.
            We is always better than Me.  Find someone that needs a “We” and be Jesus in their life, love God, love them.  Make room, reach out, start loving.  It’s as simple and difficult as that!  And for those of us who are lonely, it is up to us as well to take the risk to step out, reach out and begin to take steps of trust.  Yep, you are going to get hurt, disappointed and let-down some of the time - just like you do to others.  But it doesn't change the truth that you need others and others need you.  Take the risk.

We is always better than Me.

Peace and grace,

1 comment:

Jim Nave said...

Thanks David,

Relationships are hard but not as hard as life alone.Just ask Adam.