Reality Check: All Alone (Erwin McManus)

The Reality Check series continues at Mosaic.  Here are highlights from Erwin’s message last week from Ecclesiastes 4:1-12.

Solomon accomplished many things yet enveloped by sadness & drowning in loneliness. He showed out of control ambition and found himself alone. Meaningless to finish life alone. Too often we abandon people in pursuit of our ambitions.

If we lose the people in our lives, we have lost what is most important. Work or goals pull us away. This is all of our struggles not just the successful and wealthy. Too many pastors have lost their kids. Every day we will disappoint someone if we recalibrate our priorities to invest in our spouse & kids. There is always more work to be done & always more people wanting help.

We all have busy lives and important things to do. We make time for what is important to us. We don’t spend time with our wives & kids because we don’t want to do so. We need to change our values or else we won’t be able to change how we live our lives.

One of the greatest contributions we can make is to create community. We feel like we’re imposing on others, but often the one we are reluctant to invite to serve is actually looking for community. They may not even know how to connect.

“A cord of 3 strands is not quickly broken.” Do we believe that? Do we really believe that 2 are better than 1 or even 3 are better than 1? We would accomplish more with others! When we fall, others can help us get back up. Some of us feel like we are all alone right now. Some of us have fallen and don’t see anyone to help us get back up.

Jesus talks more about our need for community than He does talking about just getting alone with Him. Throughout history the Church may have failed, but don’t let the problems of the church keep us from seeking community & creating community.

We live in a very lonely world.
Sometimes we feel darkness and depression fill our soul. We feel feelings that used to be true to where we were, but those we love can remind us that isn’t true of us anymore.

The moment we believe that all are out for themselves (as Solomon did), we will then find ourselves desperately alone. We were taught to have an “us vs. them” mentality. This leads to loneliness. We are supposed to have an “us FOR them” mentality.

Expect the best in people even though they will let you down.

If we come to the end of our life rich with friendships and rich with love, you have lived well!

Listen to all of Erwin’s message here!

Showing 3 comments
  • Vickie Schellert

    Hi Eric, thanks for posting this. I’ll have to listen to Erwin’s message as it seems like it would apply all too well to my own life. I live in London as an urban missionary w/ my husband and we’ve found living in a city of 10 million to be one of the most isolating and lonely experiences (coupled with doing ministry as being lonely enough often times!).

    I do have one gripe about your post, however, not to detract from what you’re saying. It’s a bit male-centric to talk of pastors neglecting their children and wives as there are also female leaders out there as well who neglect children and husbands. Might I suggest using the word “spouse” instead?

    Sorry to nitpick… Thanks again


  • Eric Bryant

    Keep up your great work in London, Vickie!

    I made the change. I took these as personal notes last week and didn’t make the application broader before posting. The women pastors at Mosaic and the women in ministry that we team with through Origins ( will appreciate the change as well. Thanks!

  • Dan Wilt

    One of the greatest privileges in life, indeed, is to create community.

    When we share our equities, we beget friendship.

    Thanks for the gift here, guys.

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