In various seasons of my life I have been known to withdraw and isolate myself from my closest relationships…from community. I have done this because I’ve not wanted to be a burden to others. I’ve done it because I have been fearful of being judged and to protect myself from receiving unsolicited and uninformed feedback from “well-meaning” people. I have isolated myself in these seasons because I believed that I could, or I needed to, get through my stuff on my own.
How many of us default to dealing with life, and all that it throws at us, by ourselves - with a belief that we must pull ourselves up by our own bootstrap? How many of us, either by default or design, are living in some form of isolation right now?
We live in a culture where we can access community with the swipe of a finger. We have “community” coming out of our ears, but it is increasingly becoming virtual community.
We can be “followed," “friended” and “liked” by 1000 people yet truly known by no one. It’s quite possible to be “trending” and still live a life of desperate isolation.
Some of us remain isolated from community because we are better able to control the image of ourselves we project out to the world when we don’t allow anyone to get close enough to know us as we truly are…flawed, broken and wonderful.
Whoever isolates (themselves) seeks (their) own desire; (they) break out against all sound judgment. (Proverbs 18:1, ESV)
Not only is it emotionally and spiritually unhealthy for us to isolate ourselves from community…it is unwise. In isolation, we are absolutely left to our own devices, our own perspective, our own biases, our own judgment and our own strength to get through life.
I don’t know about you – but, my situation doesn’t get better when I isolate. In isolation, I always seek after my “own desires”. The longer I remain isolated the more unsound my judgment gets.
No one’s life gets better in isolation. Yet, many people in our culture live in varying forms of isolation - unknown as we truly are and not truly knowing other people as they truly are.
We all long for community. We all long for a place to belong.
Why is community so critical for us? Because we were created in the image and likeness of a God who exists in community. Because our life, our calling and our purpose, as people who are meant to follow Jesus, are incomplete if we are isolated from Biblical Community.
None of us needs another “thing” to do. What we need is each other. We need each other if we are to grow in faith. We need each other if we are to care for, and be cared for by, one another. We need each other because our mission is to be living expressions of Jesus’ love to the people we encounter every day.
Are you in need of Community?
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