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We need one another

Pastor Cory Swinderman

It was the fourth quarter, and my middle school basketball team was winning big. We had a good team that year. This had very little to do with me. I sat on the bench, except when we were winning big in the fourth quarter.
I emerged from my normal location on the bench to play “garbage time.” Sensing an opportunity to get back into the game, the other team put on a full court press. I was too short to see over the other team’s players. I was too slow to get around them. I turned the ball over… a lot. Our lead dwindled until our coach put the good players back in to save the certain win. I returned to the bench.
It was pretty embarrassing.
There are two things I remember about that night. First, I remembered how terrible I felt about myself that night.
The rest of the team celebrated the win, but I had a tough time celebrating.
Second, I remembered what my coach did for me later. He asked my Mom if he could drive me home from the game.
I always pictured him as a hard man – a “yeller.” But he didn’t yell at me on the car ride home. We got ice cream, and he simply encouraged me. He knew that I felt like giving up.
He saw the best in me when I did not see it in myself. He tried to help me see it too.
Perhaps, we all have memories like this one. We were at our lowest, but someone saw us and encouraged us.
They were our cheerleaders and our friends. We truly needed them.
The New Testament of the Bible is filled with a two-word phrase that makes these moments possible: “one another.”
We are commanded to “love one another” (John 13:34), “encourage one another” (Hebrews 3:13), “forgive… one another” (Colossians 3:13), “teach and admonish one another” (Colossians 3:16), etc. We truly need “one another.”
God created us to live in community with “one another.” This is true of families, communities, and churches. It is within community that encouragement is shared, friendships are formed, and faith is sharpened.
Pastor Craig Groeschel would often encourage his church to choose face to face relationships over thumb to thumb ones (via social media).
There is something about being with “one another” that cannot be duplicated on a screen. We truly need “one another.”
In this post-quarantine world, choose to reengage with community by choosing “one another.” In the last two years, our families and our churches have lost so many “cheerleaders:” encouragers, friends, and people who served the world in Jesus’ name.
Their void is felt at every family get together and every Sunday morning at church. Some of these people were considered like “glue,” holding everything and everyone together. We truly need “one another.”
Many are getting more and more comfortable living outside of community, whether they have stopped attending church on Sunday or are increasingly isolating themselves from those around them. We are also aware that our world is increasingly divided on nearly every topic. And yet we hear the admonition from the book of Hebrews for a very important reason.
Admonition: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (10:25). Reason: We truly need “one another.”

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