The Diabolical Lie You May Have Believed

The Diabolical Lie You May Have Believed

When I worked at a church I would regularly see individuals or couples disappear from church for several months at a time. We would call to check on them and they always had reasonable explanations: we were on vacation, then our son got sick, then we had to work, etc. It was clear they didn’t want any more questions asked, so we’d finally just leave them alone. After a few months they’d reappear at church as if nothing happened. They were all smiles. But I knew something was off.

I finally got up the courage to ask a guy who had disappeared for over three months where he had been – really. He said, “Well, my wife and I were going through a rough patch and we didn’t want anyone to know. So we just decided to work it out on our own.”

Those folks eventually got divorced.

Sadly, when I got the word about their failed marriage it didn’t really surprise me. Mostly because I’ve seen the words of King Solomon come true over and over:

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

You will never survive in this world by pulling yourself up by your bootstraps or going it alone. You just won’t. It may seem like you’ve gotten away with it for a while, but eventually the reality that you are not a rock or an island will catch up to you and you will crumble to pieces.

How can I be so certain of this?

Well, for one, I’ve done my own share of isolating and it never goes well. I’ve told myself no one understands my unique situation. I separate myself from the very people who could help me. Things don’t get better. For two, I’ve seen it over and over in other peoples’ lives. I’ve seen them pull away from community life at the very moment they need it most. It ends badly.

Why do we do this?

Well, I think there are two main reasons. First, I think we do it because we all want to hide our shame. Since the moment sin entered the world we’ve been trying to cover our nakedness. We don’t want anyone to see how vulnerable and afraid we are.

Second, I think we do it because we are too proud to ask for help. But of course, again quoting Solomon, When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Pr. 11:2) Pride will destroy you – always. It will disgrace you. Refusing to ask for help out of pride is no exception.

Please, please, please don’t isolate yourself when you face a struggle. Depression, marriage problems, grief, addiction. You can’t win that struggle alone. You need others. Be courageous enough to admit the struggle. Be courageous enough to be vulnerable. You are not alone. You are not the only person who has ever had this struggle.

Don’t fall for the diabolical lie that you are alone and no one understands your pain. It causes you to isolate yourself and ultimately leads to even more pain and loneliness.

There are people all around who God wants to use to help you through struggles. It’s part of his plan.  We are made to live in community with others. Don’t go it alone. Embrace the power of community.