2 Timothy 4:9-22
Independence is a prized attribute in our culture, but biblically, it isn't a worthy aspiration. Nowhere in Scripture will you find the erroneous quote, "God helps those who help themselves." The very fact that the Lord formed the church--a community of believers--should tell us that He did not create people for self-sufficiency or isolation.
When we place faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells us so we can have a fulfilling relationship with the Lord and satisfying friendships with one another. In God's design, a close, committed biblical friendship between two believers serves to build both toward Christlikeness. Look at any of the saints in Scripture, and you will find evidence of reliance upon a close friend or confidante for support. Paul, in particular, spoke freely and often of his dependence upon dear companions and encouraged others to form intimate partnerships as well (2 Tim. 2:22).
It's interesting to me that our modern culture seems to be headed in the opposite direction. The farther our nation drifts from God, the more pervasive our self-sufficient attitude becomes. Neighbors treat each other with suspicion instead of congeniality, and that mindset has invaded the church as well. We're hesitant to give to others, which in turn makes us reluctant to receive.
Scripture tells us to love one another, bear our brothers' burdens, and confess our sins to fellow believers (John 13:34 ; Gal. 6:2; James 5:16). In other words, we're to give ourselves away to others and receive from them in return. That's how church members can stimulate one another to Christlikeness.
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