“I’m not that interesting. No one really wants to spend time with me.”
“I’m so busy. I never have time to connect.”
“I’m doing just fine by myself.”
“It’s too risky. I’ve been burned by community in the past.”
No matter what our “reasons” for staying on our island, the result is the same: loneliness and isolation.
And a solo journey isn’t what God intended: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Prov. 27:17)
Reaching out to form community is not just about us. We’re to sharpen one another. When we withhold our vulnerability, our attention and our friendship, we’re actually withholding blessing — from others, as well as ourselves.
So, we’re going to address each of the above excuses for staying isolated and blow holes right through them:
I’m not very outgoing. At first it may feel a little forced, but we all can learn to become more comfortable with reaching out. Like anything, it requires practice.
As mothers, at first, our children are somewhat dependent on us to help them make connections. From the time they’re little, they look to us as models for how to interact and connect with others.
Further, we all need connection — regardless of our personality. We can deny it or ignore it, but if we are honest with ourselves, we all have the desire to be understood.
I’m not that interesting. No one really wants to spend time with me. To that, we say, why don’t we let others be the judge of our charisma? Don’t underestimate the calming effect you may have on the more “hyper” people around you.
I’m so busy. I never have time to connect. We are ALL busy. So make a plan. Do you want to invite friends over for dinner? Ask them. Then you have to do it. When someone else is counting on us, we find a way to make it happen. It’s one of the very few benefits of people pleasing. And once we do it, we experience the benefits — and we want more of that. Start small. Text a friend and tell her you’ll call her tonight after the kids are in bed.
I’m doing just fine by myself. Is that denial? We need to do an honest examination of what is at the root of that attitude. It could be that we are in a season that we need to pull away — to refresh, to heal, to connect more fully with God. However, if we’re not careful in limiting that season, we’ll find ourselves … just alone.
It’s too risky. I’ve been burned by community in the past. Yes, it is risky. Most of us have been burned. Repeatedly. But what is the alternative? This is where we have to ask for the Holy Spirit’s healing and His empowerment to forgive those who have wronged us. God can help us not only heal, but learn, from those hurtful experiences. That process will help us bring more wisdom that next time we risk our hearts.
So, what’s your excuse? Ask God to help you push past it in one small way this week.