The Power of Two

The Power of TwoThe power of 2 is undeniable and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 aptly illustrate this. The power of 2 is predicated on the fact that we are all different and incomplete, and together we complement each other. God in His wisdom has designed us with almost limitless differences. Generally speaking, almost any two people will find that their strengths and weaknesses complement each other, and as such, could achieve more together.

You may say it all began in the beginning when, “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)    But this could hardly be called a climactic moment, because God had already created the animals, two by two. Why would it be any different for his masterpiece.

Beyond a certain age, being single is seldom seen as a blessing by those looking on, although the person involved reserves the right to philosophize and treat it as such. Some people have never married. Others have married and separated. And yet others have married and lost their partner to death. The resultant state is the same, although those who have never been married do enjoy a distinct potential emotional advantage. Worthy of note is that the reasons for not being alone given in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 do not include emotional or romantic factors.  We can therefore avoid those in this discussion, and thereby, make accepting the truth more palatable.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” With very few exceptions, two people working together on the same task will complete it in less than half the time that one takes.  Like everything else, a few things are taken for granted. We are assuming that both are competent, work equally as hard, and are not duplicating each other’s work. We also assume that they are working with a plan towards a common goal.  This economic reality feeds on the principle of specialization and division of labor. Simply put, if one working alone can produce 100 units of output, two persons working in harmony will enjoy an output of 300.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 extends the concept in yet another practical direction.  When the success of any project depends on one person, injury or death to that person could mean the permanent ruining of the project. Persons in the Life Insurance field will tell you about Key-man Insurance.  This is Insurance bought on the life of any employee whose contribution is critical to the survival of the company.  If that person dies, the company must be in a position to immediately find the money to hire a replacement, better or as good as the deceased. And why be so profound. It is often easy to pick yourself up and dust yourself off.  But if it is really a nasty fall, sometimes it is of great value to have someone around to at least help you get up (Ecclesiastes 4:10)

Again, in Ecclesiastes 4:11, we might associate lying down together with marriage, but this is to take the narrow view. If you ever find yourself having to sleep alone in a very cold place without a warm blanket, you could find yourself very open to accepting an embrace from someone with whom you merely feel safe.

The third imagery is of a confrontation in which an attacker overpowers an individual.  However, the attacker would at the very least, find it more difficult to attack two persons at the same time.

The fourth imagery is that of a chord of three strands versus a chord of two strands, or a single strand.  The higher the number of strands, the more difficult it would be to break the chord.

Having established the undesirability of being alone, what should be the reaction from someone who is single and who is alone? Unless you are living alone on an isolated Island, being alone is to a large extent, a choice. You may not be married… you may be an only child… but once you are mobile, you can engage others. The reality is that we live in a world where there is a lot of loneliness. So for a moment, forget your loneliness, think of the other person’s loneliness, avail yourself to help alleviate that person’s loneliness, and in so doing, your loneliness will be alleviated. And by the way, even if you are content and happy being alone, you can still reach out to others and offer your love and friendship to those who are not comfortable being alone..

The truth is that the Great Commission requires us to reach out to those around us and to make disciples of all men. If we are obedient, we would have to do a lot of discipleship before we could ever possibly be alone.

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