There are many things I have learned from this pandemic, but there is one thing in particular I learned that surprised me: I don’t like to live in isolation. This surprised me because I lean more to the introvert side of the scale. During this time of quarantine and isolation, I have heard many other people say the same thing, and for extroverts specifically, I am guessing, this has been a very difficult season to walk through. So, we must ask the following questions. Why is living in isolation such a difficult thing for the majority of people? Why have we have seen depression and suicide rate go up during this time of lockdowns? The simple answer is this: we were not created to live in isolation. God created us to live in community–community with God and community with others. This is God’s design and purpose for each of us. As written in an earlier blog, when we stray away from God’s design and purpose, we begin to experience problems, and the longer we stay outside of God’s design and purpose the greater our problems become.
The primary area where community gets broken is in our relationship with God. When we reject God’s commands, and ultimately reject His Son, Jesus Christ, we have no hope of living well in community with anyone. Broken fellowship with God ensures broken fellowship with others. We see this truth throughout the Bible but specifically in Genesis chapter 3. Adam and Eve rebel against God, thus breaking fellowship with God. Then, Adam blames Eve (you know that’s not going to end well), and Eve blames Satan. We see also that broken community always leads to broken responsibility. So, how do we fix our broken communities?
First, we as individuals, must repent of our sins and place our trust in Jesus Christ alone. Next, we need to repent of our habitual sins that keep us from living sold-out lives for Christ. Then, as a community of believers, we must repent of our corporate sins: sins of omission and sins of commission. A verse that comes to mind regarding this need of repentance is 2 Chronicles 7:14, “And my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Once we repent, we are then ready to turn our hearts and eyes to restore our communities, so all can live in Christ-honoring relationships. We must look at our communities through the lens of godly wisdom, which is the key to human flourishing. James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” As we look through the lens of godly wisdom, we will see that human flourishing and community are based on human worth. Each person has intrinsic value because they are made in the image of God. Because God desires to see His best to be extended to each person, so should we.
As we continue to look through the lens of godly wisdom, we will see human flourishing and community based on truth. We are called to speak truth in love to all people, for truth without love is legalism, and love without truth is liberalism.
Community is part of God’s very nature, and His design and purpose is for us to live in right community with Him, our families, and the Body of Christ. As we seek to do this, we should strive to see the communities we live in know and experience the love, joy, and peace of Jesus Christ.