Beware a Lopsided Limp

Fri., Jan. 28/22

For two years now societies worldwide have to varying degrees and for varying durations been placed in either self or legislated isolation to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus. As necessary, or as unnecessary, as this might be the impact on one’s spiritual life is the same. From the beginning we were designed for community and fellowship. As the Almighty said to the first man, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18).

“Beware of isolation,” writes Oswald Chambers. “It is impossible to develop a holy life alone; you will develop into an oddity and a peculiarism, into something utterly unlike what God wants you to be.”

Few of us have enjoyed this new, albeit temporary, fact of life, but we are an adaptive species. Habit very often trumps what we know to be better. Like the slow-cooking frog, we become adept at staying put, never leaping out from the familiarity which is destroying us. The deterioration is so slow we do not notice.

Think back. What was your spiritual walk like two years past? Did you fellowship with the saints more? Did you serve the needs of one-another more? Did you read your Bible, pray, witness, serve in ministry more? Did you feel the joy of the Lord in your heart more? Did you have more compassion for the suffering? What fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) were more evident? — what acts of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21)?

Chambers adds, “The only way to develop spiritually is to go into the society of God’s own children.” – Oswald Chambers, Biblical Psychology.

The present pandemic will soon be past. What sort of person will you be as you emerge from your solitude? Will you emerge from your solitude? I fear many may have convinced themselves that hermitage is better than community. But it is by our interactions in community that we are strengthened for the necessary times of solitude. Solitude and community each have their seasons, and are both, at their times, necessary. Bonhoeffer notes,

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community… Let him who is not in community beware of being alone… Each by itself has profound perils and pitfalls. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and the one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation and despair.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

But as we have recently spent so much time in solitude, let us “beware” as Chambers has warned, lest our walk forward continues a lopsided limp.

Press on…

Published by thebrokenrunner

I have been a committed Christian for over fifty years and a pastor assistant for over ten. Yet, perhaps like you, I still struggle as I "press on" to that high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I hope you will enjoy your visits here, and be challenged, expanded, and encouraged by what you find. May we all grow to know and to love Him more each day. - Press on...

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