The television series Alone provides one of the most interesting studies in human behavior. The premise of this reality program is that ten people volunteer to be dropped off in some remote wilderness area alone and must survive in total isolation off the land. When an individual can no longer take the isolation or conditions, they can “tap out” using a satellite phone. Then they are rescued and taken back to civilization. The show is aptly named, because the number one issue that drives contestants to “tap out” is isolation. We are social people and suffer under prolonged isolation. There’s a reason prisons use solitary confinement as a severe form of punishment.
Isolation is Insidious
But isolation occurs in more insidious ways as well. When we feel hurt, depressed, frustrated, or angry we often act like a wounded animal and crawl off into a hole somewhere by ourselves to lick our wounds. But isolating like this is a dangerous path to walk. I’ve heard men counter that they’re loners, introverts, and prefer being by themselves. It’s true that some of us are more extroverted than others, but I can tell you on the authority of God’s Word that He created us all to be social beings. We need relationship with Him and with others.
When we isolate, we remove ourselves from the support and influence of others. When we do this, we not only deprive ourselves of needed support and influence, but we deprive others of the same. Also, isolating and seeking solitude are not the same thing. In solitude, we separate for a short time from others for the purpose of drawing closer to the Lord without distraction. Isolation, on the other hand, leaves us open to attack from Satan, renders us less effective in life, opens our minds to dark thoughts and sinful practices. Pornography is a destructive manifestation of isolation.
Ironically, one of the best ways to break free from the prison of isolation is to spend meaningful time with those who love you. Make a conscious effort to draw closer to Christ. Attend church and fellowship with others. Join a small group or form a spiritual partnership with another follower of Christ. Love your wife and spend meaningful time with her.
Hebrews 10:25 urges us, “Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:19-25
Personal Application: When are you most prone to isolate? What safeguards can you put in place to avoid isolating? Think of another follower of Christ (a man) whom you trust and admire with whom you can form a spiritual partnership. Meet with each other regularly. Be open and honest with each other and propel each other into deeper relationship with Christ.
Wendell Morton and Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5