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Lean on Me

In 1972, Bill Withers released a popular song entitled “Lean On Me.” Some lyrics from that song are: “Lean on me; when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.” The idea of depending on one another is evident and vital in these words and it permeates the song.

There is a concept related to this called synergy. It can be summarized as “the whole being greater than the sum of the individual parts.” One way to illustrate this is considering the weight horses can pull. A horse can pull up to 8,000 pounds. You might come to the conclusion that two horses together would pull 16,000 pounds. However, when two horses pull together, they can pull up to 24,000 pounds. This is synergy at work! This total can be increased through familiarity between the horses. If two horses are trained together, they can pull as much as 32,000 pounds. There is a significant increase in what can be accomplished simply through working together and depending on one another.

This is not just a concept that works with horses; it is also a biblical concept. As God’s people, we can do a lot more when we do not rely solely on ourselves. Primarily we depend on God for guidance, wisdom and opportunities. But God designed the church so we are not alone, but we can strengthen one another, encourage one another, and motivate one another.

In Ecclesiastes 4, the author writes “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. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Two and three are better than one because they can strengthen one another and look out for each other.

In Luke 10.1, it is recorded the Lord sent out seventy disciples, but He “sent them in pairs.” This should not be surprising that two are better than one. There would be many people who would not listen and reject the gospel; this could have discouraged some and even caused some to give up, particularly if they were alone. However, two could encourage and strengthen one another on their difficult journey.

The Lord has blessed us richly with the church, with so many brothers and sisters that have the same goal— to become like Christ and to dwell with Him. Ultimately, we must rely on God. But hopefully, you can also lean on others for strength and encouragement, and you can provide that for them as well. We can accomplish much more for the kingdom when we rely on God and work in harmony with our brothers and sisters.