Beware of Isolation
We are living in an era of unprecedented isolation among individuals, families, society, and even churches. Thanks to the advent of the Corona virus (COVID 19) in March of 2020 – we have been in almost a perpetual “lock-down”. Even though there is some movement presently to “normalize” our society --- it is taking some critical hits and thus, more isolation. We have never even heard of “social distancing” in our lifetime before, but that phrase has been tattooed on our minds. This has adversely affected people of all ages around the globe.
Isolation leads to loneliness, and this has become epidemic today. In studying the effects of loneliness on people, I discovered that loneliness can be damaging in both your mental and physical health. Socially isolated people are less able to deal with stressful situations, and they are more likely to feel depressed and may have problems processing information. This in turn can lead to difficulty with decision-making and memory storage and recall.
I read where social isolation can significantly increase a person’s risk of premature death from all causes. It is also associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia.
People who are isolated for any length of time become defensive and focus more on self-preservation, even though this is not done intentionally. One’s brain focuses on one’s self, more than the preservation of those around them, making them less pleasant to be around.
When it comes to Christians and the Church of Jesus Christ, we are reminded in Scripture in Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
“24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 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.”
God knows we need each other. Thank God for technology and being about to participate (to some degree) in services “online”. However, this isn’t enough, and it is seriously taking a toll of church congregations world-wide.
Albert Barnes in his Notes states,
“Religion is social; and our graces are to be strengthened and invigorated by waiting together on the Lord … and no Christian can hope that his graces will grow, or that he can perform his duty to his Maker, without uniting thus with those who love the service of God.”
It’s time to get back together again as believers. No need to be isolated anymore. Check around you and see those who you think are feeling isolated and lonely and call them – encourage them – and let’s get the “church” back together to strengthen one another again.