Most of us recognize intuitively that being dependent well into adulthood is not healthy or correct. So we often strive for independence. We get a job, we move into our own apartment, we start to pay the bills. We take responsibility for our own lives.
But the trap in this is that we can come to believe that this is as far as we need to go. We feel we’ve arrived, so we don’t perceive any need to ask ourselves if there’s something more.
But Solomon tells us there is. There’s something far better, he claims. And this is the true destination we should be stepping towards.
It’s not independence. It’s interdependence.
It’s understanding that the reason we need to learn how to take care of ourselves is really so that we can get into position to be able to take care of the needs of others, and have them also take care of our needs in a mutually beneficial relationship.
This is all the more true if God is in the midst of the relationship. Solomon’s father David had experienced a relationship like this. It was his relationship with his best friend, Jonathan. And right in the middle of that relationship with each other was their mutual relationship with the Lord.
It’s true. Two are better than one. And, as Jonathan and David demonstrate clearly, when the third party is God, three is best of all.
“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, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Wednesday, August 12, is Ecclesiastes 4:1 – 6:12, 1 Corinthians 7:17-35 and Proverbs 19:23 – 20:4.
Jesus, thank you for coming to love and support me. I know that I am dependent on you and your love for forgiveness, peace, and eternal life. Help me to grow beyond independence to interdependence, so that I can fulfill the purpose you’ve given me to love others as you first loved me.