The Coal Burns Hotter: When Christians Refuse Solitary Life

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”

The Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 12

Rejecting the Solitary

Life is hard. Period. End of discussion. There isn’t a single person on this planet that can tell us any differently. Each person has their own issues, daily tasks, mistakes, triumphs. Normal things they deal with every day. How they handle it is the crux of the matter. Do they lash out, scream, fight, swallow it and keep it in, or turn it into something more beautiful? That is where things change for each human. How do they handle it?

Most people want to say, “Thanks, but I got this.” “No, I appreciate the offer, but I will handle it.” “Don’t worry I will take care of it.” Or my all-time favorite: “I GOT THIS”. Yet, we do not in fact “got this”. We take it in, swallow it completely, and hope we have enough internal fortitude not to call on help. This is a lie. A lie that comes from the Devil.

Do not misunderstand what is being said. There is nothing wrong with someone being able to take care of themselves. We should all strive to do just that. Yet there are times when that just doesn’t work. God did not make any of us to be solitary beings.

A Lesson From Fire

For instance, if a fire is made, all the coals being united together make an extreme fire. Hot enough that nothing can touch it. If one of those coals–“POPS!”–out of the fire and lands by itself, it will burn for a while. But eventually, since it stands by itself it will quickly go out and die when the wind hits.

By contrast, If the wind comes through, the other coals still in the fire will burn brighter than they ever have; Because the coals being together in the fireplace allow them to burn as hot and as bright as they do. Having each other is crucial. They need each other to survive. I cannot take credit for this allegory as I have heard it many times growing up in church. It does, however, make sense. It illustrates the point clearly what the Bible teaches about community.

We as a people are not meant to be alone. We are not solitary animals, left to scrounge through the deserts by ourselves. God made us to look to each other for support. How can we say we know His love and continue to say we do not need each other? How can we continue without others or without accepting their gifts and using them to further His Bride? We can’t.

Anything less is a lie.

Two are better than one,

    because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down,

    one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

    and has no one to help them up.

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

    But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,

    two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brothers to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head,

Coming down upon the beard,

Even Aaron’s beard,

Coming down upon the edge of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon

Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;

For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever.

Psalm 133

Editor’s Note: This was written by guest contributor Justin Mandrell. Justin lives in Sesser, IL with his wife and three (soon-to-be four) children. He serves in numerous capacities at Bear Point FWB Church.

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2 thoughts on “The Coal Burns Hotter: When Christians Refuse Solitary Life

  • November 4, 2022 at 3:23 pm
    Permalink

    Great reminder!

    Reply
  • November 4, 2022 at 3:42 pm
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    This is good! Humbling, but so comforting.

    Reply

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