Don’t Be a Loner – Part 1
“… so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5 NIV)
You cannot be a loner, for there is great pain in being alone. In fact, there are studies that are being done to try and turn around the idea of solitary confinement in prisons, where inmates are in their cells for twenty-three hours a day, and out for just one hour a day to bathe and get some exercise in a yard by themselves. What they are finding is that the pain of loneliness in isolation—which results even in changes in the brain—is worse than the pain of inflicted physical punishment. We were not made to be alone. That’s why Jesus sent out the disciples two by two to preach and do miracles in his name, and why he automatically puts us all in a community of believers when we are saved.
Some of you don’t have your natural family intact, but God’s given you a spiritual family. He’s given you sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers; but you have to open up and meet people. It’s heartbreaking to see people who have been coming to a local church for ten years and don’t have one good friend in the whole church. The various excuses given are all too similar: “You don’t know what they did to me in that other church…. You don’t know how I felt when he or she walked out on me. You don’t know what my parents did to me… You don’t know how hurt I was!” And it’s true: To the person going through it, it seems as if no one understands. But God does, and he still wants you to have friends. Others have grown up as loners for whatever reason, but that isn’t what God wants for you. He wants you to have fellowship with other believers, to laugh with people, to cry with people, to hug people. That’s what the early church did. They weren’t just stiff and mechanical, hurrying home after their gatherings because they felt other people’s affairs were none of their business. No, it was family. They prayed together, had meals together, and took care of each other.
To be continued…
Read Romans 12:3-8.