For the past two weeks I have been reading through the book of Acts with a friend for my daily scripture reading. The accountability is helpful and provides that little extra nudge to get it done. If you are like me, busyness and distractions can move me away from my intentions. I recommend you get someone to team up with when you are starting something new or wanting to continue in something that at times can be hard to maintain. This is also biblical.
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. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV)
Jesus sent his disciples out in teams of two:
Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two…(Mark 6:7 NIV)
Throughout the book of Acts, you see the principle of two by two played out again and again.
Dynamic Duos are forged. Barnabas and Paul, and later Paul and Silas are stellar examples of this principle.
Some partnerships are for a season, while others last for years. The friend and I who are reading Acts together have been doing so for a few weeks, while I have a weekly prayer partner that has prayed with and for me for the past seven years. The sheer number of commands in scripture that include the phrase “one another” remind us that following Jesus is not intended to be done in isolation. The point is, we need the encouragement and accountability of other believers. I also know that forming a Christian friendship that goes deeper requires two people who are moving in a similar direction and share a similar desire. In other words, it can’t be forced. It also requires that one of the two suggest or initiate it, which for most of us is the sticking point. For the record, my prayer partner was the one who asked if I would be interested. We agreed to try it for a season and haven’t stopped. It is now something we just do. If either of us is traveling or distracted and we miss for a week, the other will check in. I am so glad he made that initial suggestion.
A recent survey commissioned by Evite reveals that 45% of adults admit they find it hard to make new friends. In fact, the average adult hasn’t made a new friend in the last five years, according to the survey. About two in five (42%) said they have trouble making friends because of introversion or shyness. For these individuals, it’s hard to be the initiator.
I want to encourage you to consider being one who asks someone to do a devotional together. You can use a tool like the free You Version Bible App and select a plan that sounds interesting or might be helpful for what you are going through. You can share the plan with a friend, and share comments about what spoke to you in the passage. Don’t make it any harder than it needs to be, just make the ask. As you pray about considering this challenge, ask God to point you in the direction of someone to ask. You never know; seven years later you might have forged a dear friendship you might not otherwise have had, also grown closer to Christ. I call that a “win-win.”
Yours in Christ,