Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Not good"

Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner." -Genesis 2:18

These words in Genesis happen to be some of the most challenging words in the Scriptures for me, which is perhaps why I enjoy studying them so much (I know, it's a bit weird). On the surface, I find it interesting that these words appear in chapter 2 of Genesis, which comes before the popular chapter 3 (2 before 3, my kindergarten teacher would be so proud!), and chapter 3 tells about how sin entered the picture. So before sin enters in (chapter 3), there's already something "not good" with creation (chapter 2), which is that man (literally "earth creature" or as I like to say, "dirt person") is alone in the garden. Apparently, God thinks it's not good for people to be alone, and yet I encounter people on a regular basis who are incredibly lonely and don't have anyone to journey through life with; they have no one who they can call their friend. Loneliness is an epidemic in the modern world.

This verse challenges me from two angles. First, it challenges me to be a friend to others. This, obviously, takes time and energy, some of which I have to dig deep for at times. Second, it challenges me to accept the befriending gestures of others toward me. In other words, I'm challenged to both offer friendship and receive it in order to avoid this situation God considers "not good" for humanity.

So this is my challenge to you: Be a good friend to those around you, but also be accepting of the friendship requests you are offered, because after all, it is "not good" for people to be alone.