Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 25, 2022

Isolation Kills

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward 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.”  Hebrews 10:24-25

Some of you may recall watching a fascinating show called “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”—I remember being a small child, enthralled by this groundbreaking documentary about the behavior of wild animals around the globe. Even if your memory doesn’t go back that far, you’ve probably seen a video of a lion tracking a group of gazelles on some African plain. The lion crouches, watching and waiting. As soon as the pack of prey senses the lion—or the lion makes its move—panicked fleeing ensues. But then you see it. That one straggler…the one who’d wandered off alone to do his own thing, separated from the others. The lion sees that one too. Without the protection of the pack, the isolated gazelle soon becomes dinner.

Fast forward to 2022. Over the past few years, it has become sadly evident that isolation is causing a new level of deadliness among human beings. Even before COVID-19, ample psychological studies were done on social isolation, showing that it significantly increases a person’s risk of premature death from all causes—rivaling risks from smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity (50% increased risk of dementia, 29% increased risk of heart disease, and 32% increased risk of stroke). Loneliness is also associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide—which we’re seeing among the breathtaking stats of amplified alcohol and drug abuse, overdose deaths, and suicide due to the forced isolation since early 2020.

One way or another, isolation causes death.

This concept is just as relevant for the follower of Jesus Christ. Believers need each other! Yes, we must be in God’s Word daily—to know the Truth, understand our calling as light in a dark world and grow in a deeper relationship with the Lord. But we are also exhorted to support and encourage one another—today—keeping each other accountable to walk in righteousness (Hebrews 3:13). We are to speak the truth in love to one another, so we can help spur each other on to maturity (Ephesians 4:15).

Friend, we need community. The writer of Hebrews makes it abundantly clear: As the return of Christ gets nearer (and, if you ask me, that day is approaching quickly), and the world gets darker and darker, we can’t stop meeting together. We have to spur one another on, encouraging each other to love and serve and keep our eyes on the Lord.

Why? Because the Bible is also abundantly clear that, like those gazelles in Africa, a lion is watching us, roaming around, crouching in the tall grass of culture (1 Peter 5:8). He waits for that self-imposed isolation… “I don’t need to go to church today, I’ll just go for a walk and appreciate God’s beautiful creation.” Or “No Bible study for me tonight—I just can’t be around those people right now.” Friend, when we isolate ourselves from our brothers and sisters in Christ—our “spiritual pack”—we put ourselves at risk. Our enemy is watching for those opportunities to devour us. And he will strike when given the chance.

But we can stand firm against him when we stay connected and engaged with a community of believers. It’s so vital, especially in today’s inherently isolating world (whether a result of a digital lifestyle, social-media separation, or media-narrated fears). On our own, it’s way too easy to be lulled away from others or enticed by some shiny thing “over there” that takes us off the narrow path.

All Christians are part of the Body of Christ—family united through salvation and citizens of heaven. But, brothers and sisters, if you are not part of a Bible-believing church body, please make this a priority. The enemy knows his time is short. And his mouth is watering to destroy whomever he can (John 10:10)…starting with the easy prey of those standing alone.

“Lord, let us not fail to meet together as believers, keeping each other encouraged and accountable until Your return.”

For His Glory


Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life




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