An isolated soul can become an echo chamber of lies. Creating a false but believable reality. Apart from community, we can mentally torture ourselves with untruth.
In the midst of saying depressing things like:
- Those that are dead are happier than the living (4:2)
- Better to never be born than to live and see evil (4:3)
King Solomon, in the Book of Ecclesiastes, tells us that we are made for community:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (4:9-12)
We need others to speak truth into our lives. To tell us when we are doing well, off target, and sometimes just to listen. Trusted and positive outside influences help break through the mental echo chamber. Breaking down the walls of silence.
There are often days where I am doing my best to go to work, come home, and spend time with family. I tell myself that I have no more energy to spend. A simple text, email, or phone call too much work. I believe these are lies we tell ourselves. I believe that God calls us to more.
That intergalactic communication device, you know, the one in your pocket? Use it.
I want to challenge you. I want to challenge myself. We need to break out of our everyday lives and invite others in. I think it’s more simple than either of us realize.
2 thoughts on “We are made for community”
Bryan, thanks for the exhortation. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in our own little worlds. I often forget to extend the same grace to others that I benefit so much from myself. When someone just asks how I am doing, it means so much. And yet I forget to serve others in that simple way. I agree that we can make this way too complicated.
In talking with my men’s group, I realized that I am not alone in this. Most of the guys in my group (which has a big age range) struggle with getting out beyond their families. Friends are hard to make after a certain age. Not sure why. Even making time for friends I already have is hard. And yet, the simple effort of reaching out isn’t…but we make it that way. Maybe it’s just not a priority?
I appreciate your thoughts and for stopping by.