It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.
We live in a world now, where devices make it supposedly easier to “connect,” but rather than connecting on a genuine level, we have created a surface level, distant relationship with one another. There is more to connection than mere words displayed on a text message or social media post.
Calling someone on the phone helps bring in body language such as the tonality of someone’s voice. It helps us distinguish when someone says, “I’m doing good!” in a chipper tone vs a melancholy tone.
Seeing someone in person is even better. You hear tone of voice, facial expressions, and body posture…allowing you to calculate someone’s real emotional response.
The drawback I find with dialogue over text is this: the delete button.
This delete button has been my friend. It allows me to retract a response I’ve drafted which may not be received well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve drafted and deleted responses to people without ever hitting send. It’s probably a clear indication I should stop responding altogether and dial some digits! My fear is someone may misinterpret my words and intention, without hearing my tone.
Now I’m thinking…what is more impressionable? A friendly phone call or in person meeting or text? The answer is obvious.
God’s purpose for community is this; for us to be discipled and to grow with each other.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another
The pattern I see occur many times over and over with friends is this; if they are going through trial, hardship, or if they are trying to stay on the path of being obedient to God, the journey in their life is more burdensome and difficult. We all need God’s cheerleaders to help us through.
This is when God’s community…whomever He brings to you becomes important. These are the signs I see when I detect someone who needs community:
1.) Your Tendency is to Isolate Yourself.
The phrase “Isolation breeds deception,” rings true. The more you isolate yourself from your community, the more opportunities Satan has to deceive you with ugly thoughts and lies. Your community should be there to uplift, encourage, comfort you, support, and most of all pray for you.
The desire to isolate, can be a form of pride. The rationale is, “I am too much of a burden for my friend to listen to all my problems.” The fact of the matter is, if it’s a true friend, your friend won’t care! A true friend will want to help you in your time of need.
2.) You feel despair, depression, or even anxiety.
I’m not saying a community will cure your emotional distress, but it sure helps. Our country has one of the highest rates of depression in the world simply because we lack community. Over the years, we have valued independence over family. We hide ourselves behind computers and phone screens instead of talking face to face.
I’m seeing less family reunions and more family segregation. I’m seeing more suicides due to depression. If there is anxiety being around people, this is a tall tale sign, you haven’t been around community enough to overcome this fear. God has specifically designed each person to be in fellowship with one another, so tell fear he’s got to go!
3.) Most, if not all your relationships have no depth
Other than your husband or wife, how many in your circle of friends, can you have a beyond skin deep conversation with? Who can you talk to about your fears and worries? Who can you count on to say, “I need you, will you pray for me?” Who can you ugly cry to?
If it seems most of your discussions are trivial or superficial, then it’s time to consider either finding a new crew or allow vulnerability to seep into your heart when you speak.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I’m praying for you today, if finding a community is a challenge, that God will overcome this challenge for you. He will give you boldness to walk into a God fearing community. I bless you with people who are more than willing to be in a friendship covenant with you, just as David was in a friendship covenant with Jonathan, and Jonathan protected him from the hands of his father Saul. I’m praying more community gathers around you, to help protect you in times of need and hardship.
God bless you!