Day 8

The Loneliness of Wealth

from the Ecclesiastes reading plan

Ecclesiastes 4:1-16, Proverbs 27:17, Luke 12:13-21, Acts 2:42-47, 1 Corinthians 12:18-21

BY Ellen L. Taylor

In January of my sophomore year of college, I laced up my hiking boots and packed a backpack (and two huge suitcases) and set off for a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile. My then-boyfriend, whom I had begun dating just a mere three months prior to leaving, wrote me a letter to read while I was gone. There is one passage from the letter that I still think of occasionally. In it was Ecclesiastes 4:12: “A cord of three strands is not easily broken,” and below it, the words “and what a strong cord we will have: you, me, and the Lord of all creation.” And although that relationship didn’t survive the strain of a semester away from each other (long distance is hard when you’re nineteen!), I’ve applied that sentiment to many of my relationships over the years: friendships, romantic relationships, and familial relationships alike.

When I was young, I didn’t know how to braid my hair. I would end up just separating my hair into two sections and twisting them around each other, until one year at church camp when a friend taught me how to correctly braid my hair. The secret? Separating it into three sections, like the author of Ecclesiastes says in chapter 4, the cord of three strands is not easily broken. I’ve found this to be true over and over again throughout my life. My relationships with other people are so much stronger when the relationship is built on a mutual desire to serve and love God first, then each other.

Surrounding yourself with people who love the Lord is so important, especially during formational seasons of life. Lack of community makes it increasingly hard to find purpose. I have found that a life in pursuit of God is so much more meaningful when it is done in community. When surrounded by other believers, seasons of fruitfulness become even more sweet, and seasons of doubt are met with comfort and understanding. The cord of three strands provides a safe place to learn, to question, and to grow. It is important that we not only seek out this kind of community for ourselves, but commit to being this kind of community for those around us. The kingdom of God is a place where all who believe are welcome. May we seek to live this out in our own lives each and every day.

Post Comments (46)

46 thoughts on "The Loneliness of Wealth"

  1. Taylor Mathews says:

    so so good

  2. Michelle says:

    I’m sorry, but what does the title of this devotional and the amazing verses you list at the beginning have to do with the actual devotional? I might be missing something. Please let me know!

  3. Avis DeniseGraves says:


  4. Elisha Anne says:

    Amen! God never intended for us to be alone. He wants us to be a part of a body, the body, of Christ. He wants us to do our part, whatever it might be — and not to look down on those who don’t do what we do, or who are led differently (for they might be an ear and you may be a hand) and yet, to serve in love however God has called us, to encourage and spur one another on to love and good deeds. ♥️ In this way the world will see us and know we are His disciples when we love and care for one another, when we have hope, and firm confidence in Christ. Who will take care of us, when we fear God we need fear nothing else!

  5. Dona Bell says:

    Diana, know that I and all our SRT sisters pray for you in your environmental sensitivities. Your isolation must be so hard to endure. I pray the Lord will bring you satisfying online, voice, and Zoom relationships. And bring you peace. Last fall, I discovered I have an allergy to a certain component of some fragrances. I have had to eliminate personal and home care items containing this chemical (also a naturally occurring substance) never listed on labels in the USA. But it is not so drastic and confining as your affliction. I pray the Lord gives you patience and endurance. I also treasure now more than ever the fact that I am not sensitive to others that use fragrances, to the extent you are, that I must completely avoid people. I praise Him that you and I are both wonderfully and fearfully made. I continue to pray for your strength.

  6. Angela Sutherland says:

    Oh how I’m longing for deep friendships that are a 3-strand cord, and to reconnect with my church family and have corporate worship again! But God has been using this time of isolation to show me areas in my life that need to be sorted out in order for those relationships to be rich and fruitful…my longing is for them, but my tendency is to hold parts of myself back out of fear. God is working, and I’m thankful for today’s reading reminding me of this!

    1. Becky Woodhouse says:

      I miss fellowship so much! It’s sad not knowing when we will be able to meet as a church again but I’m trying to use this time to develop my personal relationship with Him. Hoping things go back to normal soon!

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