Solo Christian; Isolation and the Need for Biblical Community
“Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.”
― D.L. Moody
D. L. Moody could not be more spot on. As a non-believer, I did not pick up the Bible to learn about Christianity. My view of Christianity was based on the believers I knew. For many years, I had heard of Jesus, but had never lived life with anyone who believed that knowing Christ had anything to do with their daily life.
I was confused, the people I knew professed to know Christ but their lives looked nothing like it. There were no fruits. There was anger, abuse, gossip, and a need to hide that from the world. It was clearly understood, that we were supposed to look a certain way, but no one could know the destruction that went on behind closed doors. The problem with our family was not that we were sinners who had never heard of a God (though it resembled it). We were believers who held on to the fundamental belief that the way to live life is in, isolation.
Isolation is the enemy of life. The bible tells us that it is not good for us to live life alone and this was truth BEFORE sin entered the world. How much more essential is it that we live life in the community of other believers when struggling with the realities of sin and devastation.
You see friend, isolation makes you a victim of your limited perspective. When we become a victim of our limited perspective, we come down with the disease, Terminal Uniqueness.
Terminal Uniqueness: No one else is like you. I don’t care where you been and what your wisdom is, but I think I am different. I am not like you. You don’t know what it is like to be me. See you’ve never been what I’ve been through. Don’t tell me to love my husband. You are not married to this guy. Don’t tell me to love my parents, you don’t know them. Don’t tell me to be patient with my child, you don’t have a child like mine. You’ve never been through the pain I’ve been through, so you cannot tell me how to deal with it.
Terminal Uniqueness makes encouragement impossible. Who wants to live without encouragement? If you are not around others who encourage you, admonish you, they cannot help you.
When you isolate yourself, you need encouragement. You need people who will say hang in there, don’t give up, don’t go there, we don’t want to see you go through this and we want to go alongside you through this time.
You see, When I began to be called to Christianity by reading the Christians, it was quite a surprise to learn that it is not enough to simply love Jesus; we must also have a connectedness with the body of Christ. As Christians, we must be connected to (a) God’s Word; (b) God’s spirit and (c) God’s people. As believers we are called to accountability, brotherly correction, and community. Loving other sinners is the fellowship we need here on this earth to admonish and encourages us in our own walks.
Friend, I don’t know where you are in your life right now. Perhaps you have hurts that you feel no one could understand. You may feel like a private person who has never shared deeps hurts with anyone, even your spouse. I promise you this. You need God and may I encourage you to surround yourself with believers who will spur you on, share in your hurts, and help encourage you as you grow closer to God. You see friend, I was on a deathbed, and the diagnosis was a lifetime of terminal uniqueness. I came to know Christ and it has taken years of being admonished and encouraged by fellow believers to bring me out of my self-pity and self-inflicted isolation. I had people pursuing me, when all I wanted was to shut them out. I knew God, but I did not understand that His people are the lifeline He has given us here on this earth. Biblical community is a physical representation of God’s love here on this earth. You will reject biblical community because you reject the idea that you are truly worthy of love or that it even exists. Love is frightening. You see when we love, we become vulnerable. But I promise you this, it is worth the risk. Let go, live in peace by loving others fully in their sin and allow them, to love a wretched sinner, like me.
Oh, praise the One who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
I hear the Savior say
"Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray
Find in Me thine all in all"
’Cause Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”- 1 John 4:8