Skip to content

Never Stand Alone

Strength through prayer

As Christians, there are certain things that we need in order to grow into maturity in our faith. Like sapling trees or plant seedlings, we need nurturing. Of course, the most important nourishment we can give ourselves is Spiritual Food in the form of the Bible – a daily reading plan is often helpful – and prayer, the act of talking and listening to God. But whilst Spiritual food is essential, like seedlings and saplings, there is something else that we need: other Christians around us to support us as we grow.

Sometimes it’s pride, sometimes it’s stubbornness, sometimes it’s just a sheer desire for independence – but for most people there are times when we just want to “go it alone”. We might convince ourselves that we don’t need others around us to help us grow as Christians, that we’re doing just fine on our own and we don’t want or need other people interfering with our personal relationship with God. We might even be tempted to think that getting too involved with other people will hinder our growth as Christians. But the truth of the matter is that we do need the strength and support of others. A sapling or seedling without some kind of support will grow crooked, bend, and possibly even break or die away. The same is true of our faith.

Christianity isn’t something that was ever meant to be a solo operation. From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus surrounded Himself with people that He trusted and who respected Him. And although much of His ministry was focussed on building others up, there were times when Jesus looked to His disciples to strengthen Him. Christianity is all about relationship and community. As the body of Christ, we all need others to support our growth, and, in turn, we support the growth of others by giving them the encouragement and nourishment that they need. When Jesus sent His disciples out to preach, He sent them in pairs, not alone, knowing, as He did, the importance of relationship and community. We should not forget that Jesus, although on earth as one man, remained a part of the three-fold Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and it was therefore impossible for Him not to be in community or relationship. And because man was created in the image of God, mankind was not created to be alone in any capacity. Eve was created by God because God knew that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Moreover, Jesus tells us that “where two or three are gathered…there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20). That’s not to say that our quiet times alone with God are not vital and valid encounters with our Heavenly Father – it just means that in terms of our growth, it’s better to be a part of a team than being a soloist.

Some people find it hard to develop the kind of trust-based relationships that they need to grow and mature in their faith. Their worldly experiences many have taught them to fear others rather than to look to them for support and encouragement. There may be major obstacles to overcome before those relationships can be established. But God is a gentle and patient father who will make straight the ways towards relationship and community. He loves us too much to let us attempt to “grow it alone”.

Are you a “grow your own” type of Christian? Do you struggle to trust others enough? Are you afraid of admitting the doubts and questions that you sometimes have? Be reassured – doubts and questions are common-place, you are not alone in struggling to trust, and as a Christian you are surrounded by a community of believers who are ready and able to provide the support you need to grow strong and tall in your faith. And there will be times when it’s you doing the supporting. That’s the crux of the Christian community. When we are born again into the family of believers that is the body of Christ, we can be certain that from that moment on we are never walking, or standing, alone. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.