3 Reasons God Warns Us Against Isolation
- Jennifer Heeren Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2021 13 Dec
The past couple of years have given all of us a bitter taste of isolation. I am thankful that in most cases, it was only a taste and not a steady diet of isolation. Constantly living in isolation isn’t good for anyone. Human beings were made to be relational and social creatures. Complete isolation can be dealt with periodically, but it should never become a permanent way of life.
Examples of Dealing with Isolation in the Bible
In the very beginning, Adam noticed that he didn’t have anyone like him to talk to. God agreed that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone, so He made Adam a helper suited for him and called her Eve (Genesis 2:18).
Lepers had to live separate from the communities. They were isolated. As long as they had the disease, they had to live alone outside of the camp of people (Leviticus 13:46). But Jesus healed a man with leprosy (Matthew 8:1-4). God hates to see people all alone.
A woman with the issue of blood for twelve years had been considered unclean (Leviticus 15:25-27) and couldn’t do normal activities with people. She felt alone and was desperate for a cure (Matthew 9:20-22). Jesus healed her too.
Jesus felt more isolated than anyone else ever has when he was on the cross and was wholly forsaken by the Father (Matthew 27:45-46). He felt the sting of isolation intensely and doesn’t want anybody to have to feel it.
3 Reasons God Warns Us Against Isolation
1. There’s no help when you fall. When you’re isolated, no one is there to help you up when you fall into trouble. Two or more people together can help each other succeed as well as lend a hand when one of them falls (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Also, two or more people can protect one another’s back when they are being attacked by enemies (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
2. You are vulnerable to deceptive thinking. Isolation also leaves a person vulnerable to the spiritual attacks of temptation to sin, depression, selfishness, and even anger. There is no one around to speak good judgment and wisdom into your life. You begin to think that since all you’re hearing are your own thoughts, they must be true. But the human heart can be very deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). It often wants what it wants without any thought about the repercussions.
3. The Church is weakened. The Church isn’t as strong when its people are scattered. Just as the human body has many working parts, so the body of Christ consists of many people working together (1 Corinthians 12:12). Every part of a person’s body is needed, just as every believer is needed to fulfill God’s will. No one is dispensable.
Surrounding ourselves with other people, especially other believers in Christ, has many benefits: a helping hand, encouragement, protection, good judgment, wisdom, and the gospel coming alive on earth as it is in heaven.
Dealing with isolation is no easy task, but power comes when believers in Christ work together in unity. Jesus even prayed for unity of all future believers (John 17). When believers work together to do good works in complete unity, the watching world will see the love of Christ in action. They will know we are Christians by our love.
How to Deal with Loneliness and Isolation
It’s often too easy to isolate ourselves. Sometimes the busyness of our activities cause us to retreat to peace and quiet. Sometimes the fallenness of the world hurts us and we retreat to lick our wounds. It’s okay to temporarily cocoon ourselves so we can heal, but we shouldn’t camp out permanently in our isolated room.
Here are a few ways to step away from our loneliness and dealing with isolation:
Go to church regularly and meet with other believers often. You may be able to watch a church service online but when you’re at home, you don’t get as many opportunities to pray with another or spur on someone else toward love and good deeds.
Invite others into your life whenever you can and step into their lives often. You’re not butting in by simply asking them, how they really are. They don’t have to tell you anything, but a lot of times people really do want a listening ear and caring heart to help them carry their burdens.
Offer hospitality to strangers, as well as friends and family. Love and care for one another. An unbeliever who either experiences or witnesses genuine acts of kindness may wonder why you are doing such things and a door to the message of the gospel may open.
When you reach out to other people, feelings of isolation seem to fade away. Reaching out is the cure, even when you don’t know how it will be received.
God Is an Antidote to Isolation and Loneliness
We also need to remember that one of the names of God is Emmanuel which means God with us. Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign; the virgin will conceive, and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Emmanuel (Isaiah 7:14). When we invite His Spirit into our hearts, He is there with us forevermore.
Even though isolation isn’t usually a good thing, it is a good thing to step away from the crowds and the busyness of this life from time to time to pray and read your bible. Spending purposeful quiet moments with God is a very good thing. But when you come out of those quiet times, you should be more energized to go out and love your neighbor. God’s love leads us to wanting to show compassion to someone else.
When we remember that God is with us wherever we go, we can stand strong and courageous and help other people not to feel alone in this dark and often unjust world. Even when the world is a scary place, the Lord guides and comforts you.
You are never alone when the Lord is with you. Share that good news with people who don’t know it yet. Because you never know when someone will be receptive to God’s love and peace. And that’s why we are here: to share the good news with people. That is a Christian’s main purpose.
When dealing with isolation, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. So, step away from your loneliness and your fears. Believe in your heart and mind that Jesus Christ is Lord, and He is always with you. Breathe in His great love, mercy, and compassion, knowing that you deserved none of it. But He gave it anyway!
Take that encouragement to heart and go out into the world with the intention to help, love, and care for others. Join with fellow believers to jointly spread God’s love to all who will listen. Your neighbor’s welfare is more important than your fears that they may reject you. If they do, brush it off quickly and continue onward to help another. Don’t let their apathy discourage you. Pray for them and keep on doing good.
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4
Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus/torwai
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at her website and/or on Facebook.