The Need for Companionship

One of the worst characteristics of men today is an independent spirit. Children are raised to be their “own man,” depend on no one, pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, do what they believe will make them happy, and ignore everyone else in the process. We often live by the final words of William Ernest Henley’s poem Invictus:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

The problem with the “captain of my soul” mentality is that it is a philosophy never supported in Scripture. Man was made with a desperate need for companionship—not a spirit of isolationism. From the very beginning God knew and understood that it was “not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). At the most elementary level God’s statement referred to the need of life-long companionship—a problem answered through the creation of woman and the institution of marriage (Gen. 2:19–25). But man’s need for companionship spiritually extends beyond the home to even a need for a relationship with God and His people.

Throughout the Bible the spiritual heroes of the Bible are always seen with spiritual partnerships. Moses was given Aaron (Ex. 4:14–17) and later Joshua (Ex. 24:13). Jesus had twelve men and even within those men a smaller group of three—Peter, James, and John—who are seen giving support to him. The disciples were sent out by Jesus in pairs rather than being alone (Luke 10:1). Paul had companions like Barnabas (Acts 13:2), Silas (Acts 15:40), Timothy (Acts 16:1), and others. The strong men of faith so respected throughout the Bible never played the one-man role of being a spiritual “Superman.” Instead, they are more like “Batman”—always leaning on a “Robin” for encouragement and assistance.

The lesson for Christians today is the need to depend on one another. There is no place in the Lord’s church for the isolationist mentality. Instead, the Bible emphasizes the need for companionship and mutual encouragement in order to sustain and survive as disciples while living on earth. This desperate need for spiritual companionship is the very reason given for assembling with the saints (Heb. 10:24–25). Jesus declared that spiritual fellowship and love for each other would even serve as the greatest quality the world would use to identify His disciples (John 13:34–35).

The spiritual fellowship and companionship of Christians is vital to the salvation of each one. Without it, you cannot enter the gates of heaven. All of which simply means we need one another.

May God help us to lean on each other and be a spiritual family.