A Proverb caught my attention recently and made me slow down to ponder it’s meaning and application to both leaders and to those we lead.
“One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against sound judgment.” (Prov 18:1, HCSB)
At first glance, the verse says that it’s selfish and unwise to isolate yourself. But what does that really mean? So I began listing the effects of isolation:
• Loneliness
• Little growth
• No risk
• No vulnerability
• No serving others
• No conflict
• No encouragement
• No one to help when you’re in need
• Don’t have to help others
• No sacrifice
• No accountability
• No one to love or be loved by
• No joy
While many of us would gladly skip the conflict part, all the others are downright depressing!

What’s the opposite of isolation? Authentic community! Here’s my contrasting list of what it looks like to be in community:
• Friendship
• Growth – spiritually, emotionally and relationally
• Risk of being hurt
• Vulnerability
• Serving others
• Potential conflict
• Encouragement
• Help in time of need
• Sacrifice of time and resources
• Accountability
• Loving and being loved
• JOY!
As Solomon shared in this Proverb (and remember that he was one wise guy!), isolating yourself rebels against sound judgment. EVERYONE needs community. Who’s got your back? If you can’t point to a few people who know you well and who you know, who you get together with frequently and talk about more than sports and the weather, then it’s time for you to set aside your selfishness and build community! It takes work, it’s risky, but I can promise you that there is no better way to live!

By Dave Stewart