Overcoming Isolation

Isn’t it crazy. With all our devices—smart phones & plain old phones, iPads & computers—and all our means to stay connected—calling, texting, emailing, writing, Skype, FaceTime, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Pintrest—that we can still be so lonely. So isolated. Isn’t it crazy.

We are lonely people. We live within proximity but without presence. We have relationships without personal contact. We exercise familiarity without true feelings. 

Due to fear. Or busyness. Or pride. Or selfishness. Or pain. Or past. Or depression. Or psychosis. We live alone in a world of people. We live not truly knowing or being known.

We are naturally self-centered and tend to view the world through the filter of our own lives. But we were not designed to be isolated. God created us for relationship. With him and with others. God calls us to live for him and for others.

1 Peter 3:8-12 shows us how to overcome isolation. 

Be selfless—verse 8 says, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” What characteristics of selflessness are listed here? Exercising them will break isolation as you do good to others. 

Be forgiving—verse 9 states, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” Unforgiveness leads to bitterness, anger, enmity, and hatred. Forgiveness restores unity and breaks isolation. 

Be self-controlled—verse 10 quotes, “For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.’” How do you  control your speech? You might be able to control it sometimes by yourself, but God can change your heart and your speech will follow.

Be peace-making—verse 11 instructs, “They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.” Where does true peace comes from? Peace overcomes isolation; it reconnects you with God and people. 

Be righteous—verse 12 reminds, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Where does my righteousness come from? Righteousness restores unity. It overcomes isolation.

If you are wondering how you become any of the five "be" statements above, then seek God first. Break your isolation from him. Through his love, by the Holy Spirit, he will work this character qualities within you.

Then put down your electronic device. Step away. Go look someone in the eye. And have a real conversation.