“No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main” is a phrase made famous by John Donne (1572-1631). There is profound meaning in this statement, especially for Christians.
Undoubtedly, sports teams don’t succeed without teamwork; churches don’t reach their full potential without coming together in unity; families and marriages cannot accomplish all they’re capable of without supporting and working together. We were created for community and connections – for relationships – to reach our full capacity and purpose with others by our side.
Jesus Enlisted Help
Jesus came to earth to establish God’s Kingdom and redeem mankind, but even Jesus didn’t attempt this all on His own. He found like-minded men and women to help Him advance the Kingdom of God:
Luke 9:1-2,6 says, “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick … So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.”
Jesus didn’t do it all by Himself. He taught, trained and sent others to do what He was doing: healing, preaching, and bringing life to others. Jesus knew that God had called Him to a big job and that He’d need to partner with others to accomplish it. It’s the same with us: we need to invite others to help us accomplish what God has called us to do, and then do the same for them.
Pride can be a hindrance for many things. Pride separates us from others and makes us like an isolated island. Pride tells us that we can handle things on our own and that we don’t need anyone else, but this is a lie.
In fact, Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Clearly, having others alongside you helping and advising you will result in a better outcome. If you want to reach your full potential in life, then do life with others who have similar values and goals, and you’ll succeed together!
No one has all the answers; we all need good people to help advise and counsel us from time to time – and then we can return the favor for them as well. Don’t let pride keep you from connecting with people who can help you accomplish your God-given purpose in life. And don’t selfishly keep your gifts and talents to yourself – use them to help others succeed and to advance God’s Kingdom.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
This passage makes it clear how important it is to have people in your life who you can depend on and who can depend on you. When you are pursuing God’s plan for your life along with others who are doing the same, you can combine your gifts and talents with theirs.
You may have a strength in a certain area where someone else is weak; you can help that person with your strength. Likewise, you may be weak in a particular area, but someone you’re “doing life with” can come alongside you and help strengthen you. It’s a win-win situation for sure.
If you’re an “island” trying to make life work on your own, then you’re going to have a much more difficult time reaching your full potential. And this doesn’t just affect you; it affects everyone you would have had an effect on had you tapped into your complete capacity.
Clearly, connecting with a community has its advantages. So what are you waiting for? Find your tribe and start doing life together; you’ll find personal success and be able to help others be successful too.
~ Jennell Houts