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Knots.

God’s Small Group Math

Tuesday, February 02, 2016
God’s Small Group Math

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

2 is greater than 1. 3 is greater than 2. It’s elementary math, really … nothing too complicated. But in a culture that prizes individualism and is suffering an epidemic of loneliness, sometimes we overlook the value of having each other to “count on.” Sometimes we view deep friendships as a crutch that weaker people need. Sometimes we think we can’t invest the time to develop real relationships.

God’s math says it’s worth the investment. Ecclesiastes is a book of wisdom for how to live life as God’s people. It speaks of many “meaningless” endeavors that don’t ultimately fulfill and points us to find our true fulfillment in trusting and obeying God. Nonetheless, it also gives wisdom for navigating the often harsh realities of a broken world … falling down, getting cold, being overpowered, being stretched to the breaking point (just in these verses above). And the wisdom given in these verses to face these situations is not to face them alone, not to be a rugged individualist, not to think you’re strong enough on your own.

This, of course, is a big part of why we need small groups. All of us need people in our lives to help us up, keep us warm, defend us against our enemies, and hold tightly together with us. So to put the math in words, “Being in meaningful relationship” is greater than “Being on our own.” It doesn’t always matter if we have the right words to say, if we’re as consistent in meeting as we’d like to be, if we’re as fun to hang out with as we wish we were. Being there to be “counted on” in the midst of the struggle may be exactly what God designed.

Be encouraged no matter the status of the relationships you’ve begun in your group. Remember the value of just being present in the lives of others. Don’t forget how vital it is for us to lock arms and support each other. Who in your group may need a phone call to remind them you’re there for them? Who needs to know you’re praying when they feel overwhelmed? Who might feel alone even while surrounded by hundreds of people? Do the math! Thank God he hasn’t left us alone but has given us himself and each other!

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You'll find most of my recommended books available in the Guest Center at Southwood.

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