(Sept 5) The Danger of Isolation

It's interesting how things change as we get older. Children beg their parents to have a big group of friends spend the night and the more noisy, the better. Adults long instead for peace and quiet. Teenagers dread being home alone with nothing to do on a weekend night. Most adults would consider such a situation to be a gift. Time passes by and time changes us.

As we age, one of the things that seem to happen is an inclination towards solitude. If we are not careful, the older we get the more we will tend toward isolation. Maybe it is because work has a way of draining us. We can only handle so many problems and only tolerate so much drama. We long to be left alone. It is certainly understandable.

But, it is also dangerous.

Proverbs 18:1 says, "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment."

There are different ways we tend to isolate ourselves. The word translated as "isolates" can refer to someone who causes divisions and is therefore isolated. It can also be used to describe someone who simply withdraws from others and finds himself alone. Either way, whether intentionally or as a result of careless actions, when we find ourselves alone, we can soon find ourselves in trouble.

The verse in Proverbs 18 says of the isolated man that he loses his sound judgment. It makes sense, doesn't it? If you only listen to yourself, you will soon find yourself receiving bad counsel. Proverbs 11:14 declares, "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." One of the very real and present dangers for those who isolate themselves from people is they lose the benefit of having godly people to influence them and help them.

The Lord has given us the gift of people to encourage us, teach us, pray for us, and help us. Sure, sometimes those same people can frustrate us -- which is why so many people live in isolation. Scripture knows what is best for us, however. No one thrives best by being their own counselor. Wasn't it Abraham Lincoln who famously asserted that "he who represents himself has a fool for a client?" Mr. Lincoln was correct, but long before Abe coined the phrase, the Holy Spirit had given the warning.

So refuse to give in to the tendency to push others away. Fight hard to stay close to people. Maybe you will have to endure some irritations, but it's better than breaking free from sound judgment. We need godly people in our lives and they need us. The Lord's way is best. Let's trust His instruction.


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