We have become such and individualized society in America. I am not one of those let’s look back at the “good ole days” kind of people, but I do think there was a time in America in which life was more communal. There was a sense of we need each other if we are going to survive. In this instance, I believe that is precisely the way that God created us to be. There are many verses and stories in both the Old and New Testament that show us that we were created for community, not isolation.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, wrote these words, “Two are better than one, because hey have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecc. 4:9-12). Solomon is telling us that there are benefits to having others around us. The apostle Paul talks about the needfulness of accountability when he writes, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” in Galatians 6:1-2. If I isolate myself, I am more likely to lie to myself. I need godly men around me, who will hold me accountable for my life. From a leadership standpoint, Exodus 18 shows us that leadership is to be done with a plurality of leaders, not just a single leader. So, if we know that living in community is better than isolation, why is it that we so often strive to be alone or do things alone? In a word, pride. We always believe we are strong enough, that we work better alone, or that we are that one in a million person who can work in isolation and not fall victim to sin. Here’s a newsflash, none of us are that person because Scripture says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, let’s ask the question, what is the answer? Peter says that our adversary, the devil, is roaming the earth seeking those he may devour. The image is a lion on the hunt for prey. If you watch lions stalk their prey, you will see that they always pick on the stragglers. Why, because they won’t see the lion coming, and they are isolated from the rest of the animals, therefore they are defenseless.
The answer is to live as God created us. If I am going to be the Christian, husband, father, and pastor that God created and called me to be, then I need other people in my life helping me. This means having 3-4 other godly men who will hold me accountable for my life, who will ask the tough questions, who will encourage me when I’m struggling, and who will kick me in the pants when I’m not doing what I’m supposed to do. I need this, not just because I am a pastor, but because I am a Christian who loves God, but who also has a very real sin nature that wars against my new nature given to me by God. Not only do I need this, but so do you. If you are going to be and do everything God created you to do, you are going to need help. You are going to have to first and foremost rely on God. You are also going to need the help of brothers or sisters in Christ around you. I would encourage you, if you don’t already have this group in your life, to begin praying and asking God to help you find a group. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by that, and not sure where to start. Hopefully, I can help you with this. First, make it a same sex group. If you are a guy, find other guys. If you are a woman, find other ladies. Keep it small. As a group, set a time that you will meet each week, and a place. As a group, decide what you are going to study. Then commit yourself to the group, and watch what God does in your life and through your group.