I can’t do life alone. As embarrassing as it is to admit - I have tried it. I need relationship. And this is not a “Being single is great” blog, it’s just about relationships. But back to the topic, there have been moments that I was honestly just sick of being around people. They drained me, I always felt as though I had to perform or be someone that they wanted me to be. Of course, this wasn’t intentional; it was merely my own insecurities of trying to meet everyone’s expectations of who I was supposed to be.
When I began to shut down around people, it was a decision to seek solitude and “figure out who I was”. But let’s be honest, that’s a lie I just didn’t like people. I ended up just networking like a machine instead of building relationships. Because of that motive in my heart, my “solitude” became excruciating loneliness. Which led me to this hard truth: The quality of my life can be measured by the quality of my relationships.
I need relationships. I need people around me. I need relationship not to meet my surface desire but fulfill my spiritual need. Loneliness often occurs because of our own choosing – we isolate ourselves and grow in bitterness. Many of us fall so far to the point of not being able to encourage someone else. Envy, laziness, and busyness all drive us to loneliness but each of those things are exposed in community. We are in search for what benefits us in relationships, instead of, seeking the best for others. Relationships are designed to be SHARED – not orbiting around “SELF”.
Most of us are in relationship because we recognize the value, we are better together. Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness, and let them rule’…” God wants us to have the same-shared purpose as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We can’t live life alone. We won’t survive. And we certainly will never be influential.
Relationships are necessary for survival. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes, “If two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” (Ecc. 4:11). In his book, “Modern Romance”, Aziz Ansari quotes a University of Chicago Professor,
“Humans are not wired to live alone. The impulse for social connection, though it is stronger in some people than others, is rooted in the basic urge to survive. The urge is so great it is reflected in our neural wiring. It is instinctively needed. It has more in common with hunger, thirst and pain than it does with mental illness. It signals that something is wrong and needs to be corrected.”
Misery doesn’t just love company. Misery needs company. If you are struggling you need company, if you aren’t struggling then you are part of the solution.
Faith is THREATENED in ISOLATION but STRENGTHENED in RELATIONSHIPS. Anything you don’t understand the purpose of, you will abuse. When we don’t understand relationships, we will never see the fruit of them. Solomon continues, “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecc. 4:12).
If you want to be a ‘better’ Christ-follower, you need to surround yourself in Gospel-centered community.