Mark Affleck

Here’s How YOU Can Avoid Life’s ISOLATION Trap

January 30, 2023
Spiritual Growth

     I have been sensing from this ministry’s global online tribe that there is a growing trend among Christians to retreat and ISOLATE when life gets tough. Perhaps you have felt that tug or find yourself in that struggle today. I certainly have on numerous occasions. That prompted me to drill down into the reasons why it is happening and, more important, how to find God’s antidote and steer clear of the ISOLATION CAVE.


     The most obvious starting point is to recognize this truth: Our constantly flickering and chiming devices make it easy for us to retreat from life. But I would call them the VEHICLE we take to the isolation cave. The actual DRIVER that sends us into isolation is our SELFISH desires that lure us away from God.


     “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Proverbs 18:1


     Selfish and self-imposed isolation creates a barrier between us and God’s love, grace, discernment, and hope.


     For me, being around others when I felt like this was the last thing on my to-do list. But isolating ourselves from the realities of life always darkens the room and never brings light.


     It’s one tough job to avoid the strong pull to be negative and feel isolated when we encounter life’s trials. Believe me, I know that being defeatist when tribulation comes makes us feel alone and afraid. I spent many years in that painful predicament.


     Over time God blessed me with a new understanding of the dangers of isolation and his antidotes, too. FIRST…be CAREFUL with your digital diet. Then, embrace God’s two antidotes to isolation: 1) Friendship; and 2) Community.


     One important antidote to isolation is living with intimate friendships that are fed by candid input and encouragement. I test myself in this area by asking myself the following question: Do I DISTRUST myself enough to expose my thoughts and pain and fears to other people on a REGULAR basis? Whenever I fall short on this, I know it’s time to open up.

     As believers, we should be choosing our close friends based on their ability and willingness to tell us the TRUTH when we need to hear it the most. This kind of honest counsel and support may initially wound, but only because that is necessary to bring God’s healing.


     Christian friends are invaluable in our war with selfishness that isolates us from God. But our church family is the solid rock that will never shift or move or weaken.

     Deep and intimate relationships in our church community shine God’s light on the world’s darkness and sends Satan scurrying for the exit. Through fellowship with God and other believers in his church, we learn that the Lord knows everything about our life and circumstances. That he understands our temptation to isolate. That he will guide us through that trial and into his inner sanctuary.

      That’s exactly what happened in my case. God taught me that feeling isolated is a predictable part of his plan to show us that he is still in control. That he is not going anywhere without us. That we will prevail.

     I ask God to help me know without any doubt that he created us for community so we can be challenged and encouraged by others–especially when we are feeling down and isolated.


     What is your response when life tries to send you to the ISOLATION CELL? Who are your advisors? Who knows you well enough to challenge your plans and decisions? When’s the last time someone pushed back on something in your life?

     “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Proverbs 18:1


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