It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.
Where do you go to find friends who will give you assistance, encouragement, and accountability? The Bible says God has created three realms to satisfy our need for companionship.
First, God’s plan is for us to find companionship in marriage. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Now, Adam wasn’t alone. He was surrounded by animals. More importantly, he had a right relationship with God. But God was saying, “Fellowship with Me isn’t enough. You need something more.” By the way, that’s true of you. You need other people. In Genesis 2:24, Moses said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Now, this is God’s plan for most people. There are some people, 1 Corinthians 7 says, who have the gift of being single. But most people find companionship in marriage.
A second realm of companionship is friendship. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times.” There are four levels of friends. First, there are acquaintances. These are people you meet at the grocery store or the checkout line. Most of these relationships will never go any deeper. Second, there are casual friends. These are people you know on a first-name basis and discuss superficial things. Third, there are close friends. These are people you have a mutual agreement with on things like spiritual issues and politics. Finally, there are intimate friends. These friendships last a lifetime. Even if you move away and are separated for a period of time, when you’re with that person, you pick up where you left off. These are the people you are most likely to call in times of crisis. God’s plan is for us to have friends at all levels.
A third realm of relationship is the church. You find all four levels of friendship in the church. In your church, there are acquaintances, people you don’t know–you don’t even know their name. You also see people you know on a first-name basis. And there are people you feel comfortable talking to and share agreement about spiritual issues. And your intimate friends are in church as well. But what’s interesting is even though you have all four levels in the church, collectively those four groups form a power that helps keep you grounded spiritually as well as emotionally. There is power in being connected to a body of believers. We need one another.
French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre famously said, “Hell is other people.” Yes, people can be annoying, but real hell is loneliness. In fact, that’s going to be the final state of those who die without Christ. They are not going to be separated only from God; they will spend eternity separated from other people where there is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. God’s plan for most of us is companionship so that we can experience the emotional and spiritual fulfillment that He desires for each of us.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Companionship over Loneliness” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.