"Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment." Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)
"He WHO willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment." Proverbs 18:1 (Amplified Bible)
One of the greatest danger for any Christian is isolation and yet it's exactly what sin promotes and where it thrives. Invariably when a Christian falls into sin he will begin to pull back from other believers and even corporate worship. That is the exact OPPOSITE of what he needs. Christians NEED fellowship and community to stay rooted and grow!
Here are a few quotes from Steve Wilson's book Face to Face to consider:
"....sin isolates men from one another. Sin by its very nature is a proud, selfish insistence on going one's own way, and as such it cuts a man off from everyone around him.
"We are finite beings and therefore cannot be self-sufficient. We are utterly dependent upon others, and the longer we live, the more we feel this fact. He is a fool who thinks he can live by himself. It is impossible."
"...many people are attracted the the Romantic idea of escaping into the wilderness, living by themselves, and not depending on anyone else. It is attractive because God alone is self-sufficient, and every rebel wants to be like Him. There is something in the heart of sinful man which dislikes being indebted to anyone. If man is indebted, he is obligated to show his gratitude, and sinful man is not grateful. Instead, he wants everyone indebted to him."
"We need to be stirred up by others. We cannot live only under our own preaching, there are times when we need the words of others to provoke us to righteousness."
"All of life points to the necessity of holy communion with godly friends, and everywhere we look, isolation equals death. Physically, man in isolation will die a physical death. Covenantally, the man who rejects godly companions will perish, cut off from the people of God."
"Thus the ultimate fruition of sin--which is that ultimate expression of our selfishness, going our own way and isolating ourselves--is the isolation of hell. Hell is described in the Bible as exactly that: it is the outer darkness where there is no communion, where one is left utterly and completely alone.... It would be one degree of comfort to suffer with others., since at least there is some communion in that common suffering. But God says that hell is the place of no comfort at all."
Points to Ponder:
1. Are you isolating yourself?
2. If so, why? Is is shame, guilt, pride or selfishness?
3. What will you do today to pursue fellowship and community?