Christians were never built to make a go of things alone. First and foremost, we are to be reliant on the Holy Spirit as our teacher and guide. This life we live is one we are supposed to be living in the Holy Spirit. Second, we can’t have the Holy Spirit without Christ, whose death, resurrection, and ascension permitted the Holy Spirit to come to us in the first place. Finally, at least with respect to the Trinity, we couldn’t have the gift of grace alone because that was only made possible through Christ’s crucifixion, which only happened because the Father sent His Son. We can’t do it alone. We have to have God.
However, God didn’t stop there. He tells us, point blank, that we have to have each other’s help, too. Again, we can’t do it alone. Not only do we need God, but we need each other. Any argument to the contrary is simply refuted because He already gave us a command to share each other’s burdens (also implying we need to share ours with others) and then warned us as to why it’s important to do so. Both the command and the warning are found in the book of Galatians:
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. – Galatians 6:2-5, ESV
The command is quite clear. We must bear one another’s burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ. If we don’t share in the burdens of fellow believers, we are not obeying Christ. Great, so I can help others out when they need it, if they need it, but as for me, I’m good, right? I mean, I’ve got God so I don’t need to be sharing my business with anybody else. That’s okay, isn’t it? Absolutely not. God tells us to test our own work. You can’t take credit for what someone else has done. In other words, if you were called by God to do something, refused help, and ultimately God had to hand it off, you don’t get to put it against your victories. Not in His book. God also warns us that when we all face judgment, we will all have to answer for what we’ve done, good and bad, alone. The Christian is still promised salvation, but there’s an accounting to be done. If we were given tasks that required others (and God will obviously do this since He has commanded us to support one another) and we ignored the command to obtain help, then we will face the disappointment of God on that day. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound so great to me. I’d rather swallow my pride, get the help I need, and face instead God’s congratulatory words for doing it and doing it the right way.
Yes, asking others for help means sharing and it means becoming vulnerable. Too often in the Church today we are closed off from each other. We don’t know what’s going on with the other guy. He could look okay on Sunday mornings and at Wednesday supper, but we don’t actually spend enough time to realize that his marriage is on the rocks and he just lost his job to boot. We can’t share his burdens because we’ve not spent the time getting to know him, sharing and opening up to him. As a result, he suffers alone. And when we face hardship, we suffer with little to no help, too. Well, gee, Brian, when you put it like that, it sounds horrible! That’s because it is. And that’s why God told us to help one another, because suffering alone like that is horrible and it’s unnecessary if a fellowship of believers is really a fellowship.
If you’re the type to try and do everything on your own, stop it. We all need help. There is no shame in it. Meet and develop relationships with folks you can trust. Build true friendships where you are all there for one another. When you need help, share your need. When someone you know is the one in need, if you can pitch in, do so. Let us share each other’s burdens. Let us stop suffering alone. Let us instead bond together against an often cruel and unfair world. We can’t stop the bad things from happening but we can certainly face them together.