One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgment. (Proverb 18:1, HCSB)
If I so chose, I could work from home 100% of the time. Between my phone, laptop and WiFi connection, I have absolutely everything I need to perform the duties of my job from the comfort of my house. (And many times, I exercise that option). Yet there is one more thing needed in my opinion – contact with other people. Bouncing ideas and plans off others helps sharpen me.
Yet we live in a very dividing and isolating world. Despite all the technology that offers the possibility for connecting, I fear the overall result is greater isolation. And according to the Proverb above, too much isolation can be dangerous.
To be accurate, the isolation referred to above is not the beneficial ‘quiet time’ we all need. But the harmful type of isolation occurs when we create divisions that separate us from others long-term. We create so many divisions that only people who think and act exactly as we do get to remain within our little sphere of people. Everyone else is excluded…i.e., we isolate ourselves from any thoughts that contradict or challenge our own.
While that may seem pleasant and safe in the beginning, God’s Word tells us that two outcomes are likely with such ongoing actions. First, separating ourselves from others breeds selfishness – it allows us to pursue only what we want. For example, if we only hang out with people who love the same pizza toppings as we do, we never have to order Chinese food, etc. (Silly example, I know – but you get the idea)!
Secondly, when we live in isolation from those who are different from ourselves we lose the ability to gain and retain sound judgment. We can become hardheaded and obstinate. Wise counsel may be presented to us, but if the person speaking is not within our sphere of like-thinking people, we won’t listen. And it all starts with drawing lines of division – separating ourselves from anyone who challenges us and our way of thinking.
How about you? Have you isolated yourself from others too much?
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