Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

26 March 2021

Proverbs 18:1

An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
    and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

The thought here is not that it is wrong to seek solitude or even to work alone. Rather, it speaks to the person who has fortressed himself against companionship. He may be like the hurt lover of Paul Simon’s song “I Am a Rock,” who isolates himself from relationships so that he might not be hurt again. He may be the disenchanted idealist who gives up his dreams and loses respect for his neighbors. Or he may be the epitome of the American hero – the person who “goes it alone,” who lives for himself.

Whatever may be the motivation, to isolate oneself either physically or emotionally goes against the way God made us, which is to be communal creatures. We are made to desire companionship. Our dreams are meant to be shared with others. This is especially true for us as Christians, who when we come to faith in Christ are made members of his one body. To isolate ourselves from one another is like the eye wanting to isolate itself from the head or the hand from the arm.

Whatever experiences you may have had that would lead you to isolate yourself from the body of Christ, know that the true help for you is not isolation, but connection. The hope for us all in living productive lives for the Lord is to be attached to him through his people.

 

Colossians 3

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is youra] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Instructions for Christian Households

18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

21 Fathers,c] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.