The Evangelical Dictionary of Christian Education (EDCE) defines Interdependence as follows: The principle of interdependence states that individual members of a …group or community do not operate in isolation but 08 interdependencecontinuously affect each other, as well as the group as a whole. Interdependence in …groups is contrasted to the negative factors of individualism, which puts self at the center of an individual’s world and exalts personal rights and self-gratification over the well-being of others.”

In Acts 2:44-45, we read, “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” This is not a verse supporting communism; it is a verse talking about meeting each other’s needs in community. The EDCE (see above) adds, “…there was an assumption by the apostles that believers would minister to one another as they grew in their knowledge of Jesus Christ (Rom. 12:5; 10:24; James 5:16; 1 Peter 1:22; 4:9). The type of interdependent life together that the early church practiced was proclaimed by Jesus Christ (John 13:34–35) and modeled by him… Many, if not all, of the profound lessons the disciples learned from Christ unfolded out of their intimate relationships with one another (see John 13:14).”

We need to learn to lean on each other in our times of need. We need to learn to set aside our pride and receive from others. We need to learn to set aside our own personal interests and accept responsibility for one another as well. When God asked Cain where his brother, Abel, was, Cain said that he didn’t know and then asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God’s response to Cain tells us that His expected answer to that question is just the opposite of what Cain expected. He thought he’d escape responsibility, but it’s clear that the answer to that question should be “yes, Cain, you are responsible for your brother’s care.” The EDCE goes on to gives some suggestions on how to foster interdependence: “First, for true interdependence to exist and flourish there must be a putting aside of individualism that focuses on self and the advancement of personal interests. Second, man-made barriers of nationality, race, class, education, and gender must be overcome. One mark of …moving toward Spirit-empowered interdependence is the way members of different backgrounds experience a sense of belonging and freedom to relate to each other. Third, interdependence can be nurtured by practicing corporate experiences…as group members participate with one another in disciplines such as prayer for one another, singing, sharing burdens, and even eating together, a sense of unity and oneness will be generated.”