In the last post we talked about our natural tendency as human beings to withdraw and isolate ourselves. Blame it on whatever you want, whether it be the digital age or the way we are raised, people tend towards isolation. It wouldn’t do much good for us to stay here, so let’s talk about the solution to our problem. It isn’t exactly rocket surgery…
I was recently talking to one of my leaders about dealing with problems in life and how we all have things we have to process. Sometimes what we need to do to process our thoughts seems redundant. It’s really important that we resist a “once and done” attitude when it comes to caring for our soul! As I was speaking, I started to listen to the advice I was giving and I thought, “I need to be sure I’m following that too!” Sometimes the answers to our problems aren’t complicated, and that is what gets us stuck. We expect the answer to be complicated. If we’ve heard it before, we assume we need something new to get out from where we are. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the answer for this problem is the same as the last one.
If you’re like me, your exercise routine is always at an ebb and flow. Life happens. You travel, have a week off, or get sick or hurt and your routine for running or going to the gym is shattered into a cabillion pieces. Whenever I get into that stuck place of feeling like I need to work out (but let’s face it, it feels good to just sit on the couch!), the only thing to do is start again. I know that when I get into the gym I won’t be able to run as far without getting winded, but that’s when it’s really important to remember that I’ve done this before.It worked last time and it will work again. It’s like the Nike slogan. You get it.
The same is true for getting out of the box of isolation. Chances are there have been times in your life when you were great at setting up community with other people, great at relational interaction and staying connected. Then you got hurt, got busy, or stopped putting forth the effort.You’re sitting on the couch enjoying the feeling of no effort living. But eventually you won’t be able to get up.
God designed the family and the church to be the natural places for us to be able to share in deep, meaningful relationships with each other. Whether we come from a big family or have no family, the family of God unites us to each other and helps us from killing ourselves through isolation. The writer to the Hebrews says this in his familiar passage:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
(Hebrews 10:23-25 ESV)
You weren’t designed to go it alone. Sometimes it is difficult to humble ourselves and get involved in other people’s lives. It’s easier to be quiet than to encourage someone or to tell your story. But I promise you it will be worth the effort.