Isolation3 Minutes To Read

“He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.” Proverbs 18:1

I get it. You’re an introvert. You’re socially awkward. You have anxiety when it comes to conversations. You don’t like to be put on the spot in groups. You don’t want to pray on behalf of the class when asked; it’s not that you don’t like praying, it’s just that you don’t like praying in front of people. I get it.

As a pastor, my duties require me to be sociable. It’d be hard to be a shepherd who never spends time with his sheep. However, I do have anxiety in carrying conversations myself. Because I (wrongly, many times) anticipate where the conversation is going to go. I know that somewhere, they’re going to want my advice, offer a suggestion, or even perhaps offer a loving criticism. Once it moves past the pleasantries, I often begin to get anxious.

With that being said, however, it is a problem if you allow that to drive you into becoming a recluse. It can be a great sign of spiritual danger if a person begins to separate themselves from the herd. A person who willfully and intentionally avoids fellowship and community, especially among his or her brothers and sisters in Christ. Here’s why:

SEPARATION OFTEN REVEALS A PRIDEFUL DISPOSITION

The proverb quoted above says that a person convinced that his way is best and that there are no alternatives reveal that he is so convinced to the point that he goes it alone. He ventures out into the wild blue yonder and claims he needs no guidance or correction. He seeks his own desire. This is dangerous because we know that God also says that “there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end is in death.” (Proverbs 16:25)

There are myriads of Proverbs that point to the sheer emptiness of refusing sound wisdom- as a matter of fact, the entire point of the book of Proverbs is to prove the fruitful benefits of listening to wisdom and putting it to use. And in search of that wisdom, God has provided it ultimately in His Word and in His people. Refusing fellowship and refusing community is to refuse God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We don’t all have to be extroverted to avoid being reclusive. We simply must refuse to isolate ourselves to avoid being elusive. Be an open book. Be willing to be transparent, in conjunction with dignity and discernment of course. Seek to allow others to be able to speak into your circumstances, your heart, your thought processing, and your will. Watch God begin to mold you and shape you into who you must be by allowing yourself to float in the life raft of the bride of Christ, the church.

  • Do you consistently seek to grow in community with others?
  • Do you have a circle of trusted, godly friends?
  • Do you accept the wisdom of others with humility and invite others to give you correction?
  • Do you avoid the responsibility of being a part of the bride and using your gift(s) for His glory and their benefit?

Seek to avoid the natural prideful disposition that we all suffer from and turn your eyes upon Him who emptied Himself and became like us to have fellowship with us.

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