A men’s event where men take turns in sharing their honest weaknesses is a reminder of the power of community to break the isolation of loneliness. Many men, as with many women also, face spiralling desperation in these matters without fellowship.
To hear of one man’s battle, that which once overwhelmed him, but of which now Jesus has helped him overcome, is a great encouragement to all men there.
There are many more advantages of community than correcting the isolation many of us feel, but how it attends to isolation is marvellous.
The Guilt and Shame In Sin – Crushed In Truth Through Community
Satan will try and make us believe we are worthless, and he will use our weaknesses against us. Our sin is his weapon for making us feel guilty and ashamed. None of us are beyond feeling condemned from time to time. We forget that, in Jesus, we have been freed. When we are saved we ought to never again feel irredeemably condemned.
This is where community comes in. It emasculates ideas for isolation. It has a better idea.
In community, whether that be one-on-one or a large group or all collections between, we are brought before the truth; usually as it manifests in others’ lives, when we hear them testify.
The truth: we are all weak, but we are strong in Christ—and never more so than when we are together.
Through others sharing their stories we find we are not alone in our struggles. We find our struggles are much more common than we recently thought. It is so easy to forget how much in common we have with our peers. We have more similarities than differences so far as our sinfulness and brokenness is concerned.
When we understand this truth, afresh, our loneliness tends to vanish.
Our sense for community breaks the bonds that our dangerously imaginative minds, when alone, have procured. In the community of a brotherhood or sisterhood we come to understand that the truth, arranged communally, sets us free.
No wonder that the best cultures through the history of humankind have a strong identity for affiliation. Where a culture values a significant sense for community, that culture will be strong for each other. Individuals are hence safer and stronger as a result.
A good solution for loneliness is the company of loving, accepting others. As we spend time with others in their weakness we don’t feel so alone in ours. The more honest we can be before others about truths in our lives the better we will feel.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.