There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.
— St. Thomas Aquinas
Imagine for a moment that you were the last person on earth. Imagine that every human being was gone from the face of the earth and you were the only one left of the human species. There would be endless possibilities, wouldn’t there? There would be no more laws, no more taxes, no more fees, and no more limits and restrictions on where you can go and what you can do. You can drive any sports car, you could live in any house, and you could use any building for your own leisure. Now, tell me: would you enjoy that world?
As humans we complain about taxes, dumb laws, bad government, lack of leisure, not enough wealth, etc. Part of what makes us human is our natural tendency to complain, even if it is about the slightest thing. I am willing to wager that if you were given the option to choose between getting rid of all your problems or keeping them, you would naturally pick the former. However, all of that changes really quickly if the condition of removing all the things you complained about is for you to be alone. I don’t care if you are introverted or extroverted, no one wants to be alone. Search the deepest places of your heart and tell me that isn’t true.
One of the most brilliant story ideas was a book written in the 1950s by Richard Matheson called I Am Legend. The story brilliantly encapsulated what it would be like for a human being to be alone. Robert Neville, the main character, was broken, depressed, and became an alcoholic to try and cope with being alone. There was a moment in the book where I actually cried, and it was when the one friend he had, a stray dog he found and cared for, became infected and he was forced to kill it. The rest of the book, he contemplates suicide and fights depression because of his lonely state.
I firmly believe that companionship is a desire that has given each and every human being. The reasons I see from Scripture are 1) to realize our need for God in order for our lives to be complete (this is the most obvious reason), 2) to strengthen the Church and for missions, and 3) for our health. God is very much concerned about His own glory, and to think that God doesn’t put that before anything else would be absurd. However, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care about you. He very much does, and He doesn’t want anyone to be alone or without friendship.
When God created the world, everything was wonderful and magnificent, but it wasn’t good. Do you know why? Because man could not find a helper fit for him! What God says in Genesis 2:18 (ESV) still gives me chills, “‘It is not good that the man should be alone…'” God couldn’t declare His creation to be called good until there was a helper fit for man! That’s how much God cares deeply about relationships. It is true that the context for this verse is that God design was for man and woman to have a sacred union, but I can honestly say, without a doubt, that the application for this text extends to friendships as well. God doesn’t want you to be alone.
God is glorified by our friendships with others. There is a reason why our Lord calls us friends in John 15. God would not do anything unless it glorified Him, so Jesus’ remarks on the importance of friendship are to be taken seriously as something that is truly glorious.
Jesus would always encourage His disciples to go by two’s when being out in the mission field, and it wasn’t only because of security reasons (there were robbers on the road and having a buddy with you in a fighting situation really helps). It was also because of the fact that the disciples would walk to all their destinations, and to do so alone would be too difficult for their soul. That is why I understand why Paul never traveled alone. Each missionary needs that boost in morale, and everyone I have met who has been in the mission field has told me that nothing has helped them more than having a friend by their side.
I can’t tell you why God made us so dependent on one another. I can only tell you that once you receive Christ and the grace of God, you will see the prize of friendship. You will probably even marvel at how ignorant you were for thinking that life could be lived out on your own, like I did as God has taken me through this incredible journey of being a Christian. You need friends, you need family. It would even be good to think about having a wife or a husband. God tells us over and over again that “two are better than one.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV)
Don’t be alone in this life. I beg you to find friendship and to realize that there are people out there who care about you. Living alone and separated from the word is not good, and to do so is to live in sin. God didn’t want man to be alone, and He certainly has too much compassion and grace to see others be alone. I strongly advise people to seek someone to bond with, to share their life with, and to have a laugh with.
I am grateful for all of my friends and acquaintances. I am humbled by the fact that I have met great men of the faith who have been able to counsel me and direct me in my life. I am thankful to Ashton and Jon, fellow writers for The Reformed Alliance, who have become closer to me than brothers. I am indebted to my best friend, Karina, who will always be the most beautiful and amazing person I will ever meet, second only to One.
Most of all, I praise God for being my greatest joy, my greatest love, and my greatest Friend that has shown me the greatest love that anyone could ever ask for.
Soli Deo Gloria.