10th official blogpost in AU. 30 November 2011
How do you make the word, ‘isolation’ sound less... cold? The first alternative word I can think of is ‘alone.’ Do you like to be alone? How do you respond to being isolated from others or things?
I should be an expert on this subject by now– the last eighteen months of my life have consisted of the most alone time I think I have ever had. At first I nearly lost my mind. Now, I find I can appreciate solitude a bit more since this city is full of at least a couple million people hustling and bustling through every single second. I am easily content to do things or simply be by myself for probably much too long compared to the average person.
But is it good to be isolated?
The fastest yet insufficient answer would be no, it is not good. However, I think being alone can be good and is necessary at times.
Jesus would go away from his disciples to be alone with God. The Bible speaks of seeking God and practicing certain things like fasting without publicizing it to your community. What God sees is what matters and God sees every action, motive and thought. It is good to find contentment in being alone when you know you need it to fellowship with God. To give all you extroverts some assurance, being “alone” with God is not actually being alone anyway! He is with you!
On the other hand, there is the part where God says, “it is not good for man to be alone.” In this context, scripture is pointing to relationship.
So what are the things you do by yourself? Why do you do them alone?
If you are choosing not to spend time with and invest in people out of fear, insecurity, or past pain incurred through other relationships, it is time to take that before the Lord and also find someone like a pastor or a godly mentor type of leader who you can talk with. There is something in your heart that has distanced you from letting someone or many others into your life.
It is not good for man to be alone.
The place most impenetrable to people is where the constant battle for your life is waged– your mind. It is imperative that, as Christ followers, we are constantly releasing thoughts into prayers and discussions to ensure that no temptation floats around inside our minds long enough to grow into sin. Have you ever noticed those times you can be upset about something and then once you say it out loud you realize how small and insignificant it is? All that time it was rolling around in your mind made the issue seemed massive! Surrounding yourself with people you can trust and who maintain a godly perspective can make all the difference. You can help them, they can help you and everyone has a lower risk of falling into sin.
I find the Body of Christ is often plagued with fear of sharing with each other. It is scary, I know! You have to be vulnerable! You have to lay out your innermost being and hope that human beings around you will give back God’s love and grace in return. Though that does not always happen between people (unfortunately), do not give up. Ask God for the people you need to be surrounded by and determine for yourself to rise above the behavior of those who have hurt you. Forgive them. Keeping our mouths shut and cutting off fellowship with others would only satisfy the enemy’s desire to cut off circulation in the Body.
Last, but never least, God said, “it is not good for man to be alone,” just before he took a rib from Adam and created Eve, his helper.
A partnership... why is it better to have a partner? Having to work so closely in relationship with someone else can seem like an addition to your life that would complicate matters further. I cannot think of a better way of describing it outside of Ecclesiastes:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their
if one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
God has given each of us unique strengths and talents. We also each have weaknesses. Once we recognize that we can contribute and share strengths and gifts to each others’ callings and purposes, the workload eases up. It is no longer your burden to bear. The load is lighter because others are running with you and sharing your load.
Let them share it.