by Tom Flaherty


“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

There’s an African proverb that states: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”  The above text is the Bible’s way of stating this same truth.  You may go fast for awhile, but if you’re unwilling to do the work of friendship, eventually you will fall and won’t be able to get back up because God created us to need Him, and to need each other.

Last week a friend was telling me about his cousin who with his wife adopted three children from Russia years ago.  They couldn’t have any children so they decided to bring these children into their family.  Well, it turned out to be way harder than either of them had thought it would be.  The husband told my friend something like this: “We both said ‘I’m done,’ many times through the years, but as God arranged it, we were never saying it at the same time.  When one of us was ready to give up, it just happened that the other one somehow had found encouragement, so we kept going.”  He said, “I don’t know what would have happened if we had both been in the place of despair at the same time.”

It’s funny that the way we get really close to people is by walking with them through their really low times and by letting them walk with us through our really low times.  “A friend,” the Proverb says, “loves at all times.” (17:17) We can’t even know how good of a friend we are, or how good of friends we have, until we’ve seen them, or they’ve seen us, at our worst.  “All times,” means good and bad.

Have you been hurt or betrayed by a friend, church member, or a church?  I want to encourage you to walk in forgiveness because God wants us to walk with Him and with His other children.  Even as Pastors and Leaders, we need others and we need each other.  It’s His plan and no other will work.

Tom Flaherty is the Lead Pastor of CityChurch in Madison, WI.

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