Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.

Ecclesiastes 4:9,10a

It is a basic principle of God’s design for people that we should live, work, and function in companionship with other people. One of the earliest ideas that God expressed regarding people was, “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). This need is foundational in our creation. We are at our best when we have friendships and spiritual family relationships that are a regular part of our lives.

People need to be connected and to connect; then, when we are engaged in the lives of others, we are in a place where we can do some of the picking up that they require and gain strength through the exercise that is derived through the lifting. Also we are able to be honest and open enough with others so that they can lift us up when we have fallen. In the world of Christian fellowship, we will find people who will laugh and tell jokes, who will cry and wipe our tears away, and who will hold us close and feed our stomachs and our souls.

The proverb that reads, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) refers to the way in which people who are in a real and an honest relationship function with each other to make each other ever stronger. I think that a subtle undertone in this verse is the fact that the people are referred to as iron, I take this to mean that each of them are made up of the strong stuff that comes from being children of God. This is a statement about the value and the benefit of real, interactive, and impactful relationship; for this is a statement about real fellowship between Christians. At times sparks may fly, but the result is a form of sharpness that cuts through life’s darkest moments.