Spring is on the horizon and spring break is coming soon. That means a couple of things: school will be getting a week off to breathe and enjoy the opening volleys of warmer weather, and we will soon transition from winter coats to light jackets.
There will be one last travel week for many to go enjoy tropical climates that hoover around 75˚. Some are traveling now to the islands, tired of the cold arctic air! Many of us that are saying “Any island will do! Just get me out of this cold!”
All this talk of island adventure, advertisements, and people sharing their late-winter traveling stories caused me to start thinking. There is an island that I would not want to live on, travel to, visit, or even visit––the island of isolation!
Isolation is a place void of any meaningful human contact, relationships, love, or any emotion crucial to producing healthy relationships! Isolation causes people to put up walls that keep us from being the person we know God made us to be. Isolation causes people to shut out the people that love us and are there for us. Isolation can cause us to become inward focused and dependent on nothing but the feelings of lonliness! Isolation can drive us to despair.
We see isolation in so many places in our culture today. Attached garages enclosed by a “privacy” fence surrounds many homes. Cars have tinted windows, providing the cover by which no one can see inside the vehicle. We see increased wearing of hats and sunglasses inside of buildings, keeping people from looking at each other face to face. We see it in a continued state of technology. We would rather look down at the screen than across the room at the family we live with, the people we work with, or the potential friend on the bus. I could go on, hence take my word for it ––ISOLATION is everywhere in our culture!
The Bible clearly talks about the person in isolation. Proverbs 18 is a powerful chapter of the folly of isolation. Look at the very first verse of this chapter, Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV),
“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.”
A person who has become isolated often deals with these 4 emotions: sadness, anger, despair, and reduced self-esteem. As you look at Proverbs 18:1, anyone can see that when you seek your own desire, you will reap these emotions––because your desire––RUNS OUT! You can also see that when you go against wise judgment those 4 emotions come into play, simply due to the fact that often we find failure instead of success.
One of the greatest ways to fight isolation is to be a friend, make friends, and help others build friendships. This can be hard, but it is a vital key to keeping yourself and people you know out of isolation. I do not think that it is coincidental that the closing verse of Proverbs 18, verse 24 says this…
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Did you catch that, the closing of verse 24, “…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Guess who that is? JESUS!
Jesus is ultimately a key to stepping out of isolation! He loves, He accepts, He cares, He provides, He is your Friend!
Let’s get off the island of isolation! Warm weather or cold weather––the island life of isolation is lonely and NO place for you!