Isolated (Proverbs 18)

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“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    he breaks out against all sound judgment.”[1]

These are probably not helpful words for a Government attempting to encouraging COVID-19 patients to self-isolate. Yet, our experience of having to socially isolate over these past 7 months have been a crash course in the cost of such isolation. When we isolate, we become lonely and our perceptions become distorted. Without the corrective understanding of others we can misunderstand things. Isolation is costly and dangerous.

Proverbs 18 is a warning against seeking to go it alone and getting separated from the Lord and from his people.  It is seen in the fool who may well be in the company of others but is too busy sounding off his own mouth to stop and listen.[2] The fool is alone in the crowd, surrounded by many acquaintances, he or she lacks the advice of a true friend who sticks close through thick and thin and out of live tells it as it is.[3]

So often, we see this in church life. Those who isolate from God’s family begin to believe that they are lonely and unloved. They are at risk from the lies and bitterness of others, they are at risk from savage wolves who seek to prey on the weaker members of the flock.  That’s why fellowship is vital -seeking to gather together with other believers to be challenged, edified and encouraged.

Furthermore, those who self-isolate don’t just drift away from the company of believers. They also drift away from God’s Word and the visible signs of communion and baptism that remind us of our saviour’s grace to us..

Keep an eye out for others that risk wandering away and becoming isolated. Keep an eye on your own life, watch that you don’t begin to isolate yourself to.

[1] Proverbs 18:1

[2] Proverbs 18:2-7.

[3] Proverbs 18:24.

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