06/12/18 Idolatry of Aloneness

READING: Ecclesiastes 1-6

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Ecc. 4:9-12 “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

The writer of Ecclesiastes speaks of the vanity of a person who is always alone, who works to gain riches, yet who has no one to leave his riches to when he dies (Ecc. 4:7-8). He lives for much “stuff,” but he shares life with no one. This life, the writer says, is futile. 

Indeed, God created us to be in relationships with others, and we deal with life together in the context of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:26). If we choose not to develop strong friendships, we miss the value of combined efforts, the power of companionship when struggling, the comfort of shared emotional strength in a cold world, and the strength of protection in numbers. In fact, if one friend makes us stronger, it is even better to have more than one (Ecc. 4:12). 

I freely admit that I can tend to be a loner who is far too self-dependent. I grew up leaning on myself for support, and that trait has continued to this day. Some days, I could be the one who “falls alone without another to pick him up.” Hence, I need to live a “three-strand” life that more readily welcomes others into my world. 


  • Thank God for the friends who “lock arms” with you in your work.
  • Reach out to a loner today.

PRAYER:“Lord, I don’t want to be a man who lives as a loner. I don’t want to miss all the benefits of having genuine Christian friends. As usual, I need your help.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: Ecclesiastes 7-12

*portions of this devotion were previously published on this site