Sunday, March 25, 2012

Alone is Not the Same as Lonely

“In most biblical accounts, the greater the level of maturity, the more alone that person becomes. I.e - Moses, Job, David, Paul, even our Lord in His most trying hours, despite His absolute perfection.  When the Lord is doing a great work in the believers life, it can scare away the casual, or less mature Christian - perhaps only for lack of understanding, or inability to cope with the pain (growing pains) in the maturing believers life.  God’s provision is to draw closer to Him until someday you wake up and realize your best friend is your Lord Jesus Christ, and the loneliness dissipates.  However, we must not mistake disagreement with others as "I am maturing and they are not, therefore I am justified". That would be arrogance not maturity.” – Jim Mastrocola

That was a response to a mutual friend’s turmoil.  And, as usual, the start of an interesting train of thought.

The turmoil involved relationships.  That can always be tricky.  Friends and relatives are gifts from God.  But, if those friends and relatives are drawing us away from God, then we’re better off adding some distance.  Since Jim mentioned Moses, what would he show us about that?  Well, there’s a brother who is a high priest, but helps the congregation create a golden calf idol.  And Moses’ sister, Miriam, had her own issues with Moses’ choice of relationships.  Certainly distractions from the leadership tasks God gave Moses.  Leaving Moses alone to solve the issues.  And alone in his relationship with God.

The thing that’s common to those Jim mentioned is that, in moments of turmoil, those around them chose not to be a part of the support or solution.  And those at the heart of the moment of distress had to go it on their own.  And they did.  Which is better than some of the possibilities I see in today’s society.  Where it’s getting to be more and more that decisions aren’t made without others validating the decisions. 

Think about where we see that.  Actually, pretty much anywhere from high school to some churches.  If what we say and do doesn’t fit the norm, it gets ignored, shelved, and we may be looked at as having issues.  And, in all those cases, any differences are likely to make us outcasts.  Separate and most likely unequal.  Finding out that our real friend is Jesus.  Independent thinking may get us into a situation of having no company in what we’re doing.  And it can be OK.  Certainly we wouldn’t have had the great discoveries of Albert Einstein or Leonardo DaVinci without independent thinking.  But we have to be careful.  I suspect Charles Manson considered himself an independent thinker.  The difference is that his independence was from God.

When our time comes where we’re alone, if we have a relationship with God, we’re not really alone.  If our “independent thinking” comes from the Word of God and our relationship with Him, we can be alone without being lonely.  I was talking with someone in our church, recently, about a period of illness I’d gone through and my time watching services online instead of being at church.  And they asked me if I was lonely.  My answer was that I was having a great time with God and I really liked my own company.  The last part was me being a little snide, but the principal is true.  In Christ, I like myself because my focus is on God, not myself.  Ready to receive from God, no matter who’s with me in a situation, because He’s always there and has lots to show me.

James 1:12 tells us, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”  When you’re alone, what do you do to feel His personal hug, just for you at that moment?  To recognize that alone is not the same as lonely?

No comments:

Post a Comment