Isolation vs. Encouragement
There is too much spiritual danger inherent in Christians choosing to be isolated. The New Testament model shows us Christians who are interested and involved in each other’s lives. Paul shared his joys and victories, as well as his hurts and struggles with his friends. He was transparent about his pain, even to the point of telling the Corinthians that at one point he “despaired even of life” (2Cor.1:8). When he was weak, he not only cried out to God, but he also called out for the help of his Christian friends. “Come to me quickly” he told Timothy because he was left without the support of those he formerly trusted (2Tim.4:9). And when he openly sought the needed fellowship of his spiritual family, he saw the hand of God and encouragement of the Holy Spirit in their voices and consolation: “God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us with the coming of Titus” (2Cor.7:6). When Paul sat with his Christian comrades, he wasn’t trying to keep up some kind of super-spiritual appearances, he was there as a real, vulnerable and transparent follower of Christ. We would do well to follow this biblical pattern. Spiritual trouble finds its fuel when we choose to be isolated. So reach out and be real. Seek to serve and be served. Look for the mutual encouragement and support that comes when real Christians truly get to know and love each other.
- Pastor Mike
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