Choosing to be a Loner
Prov. 18:1 An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends;
he defies all sound judgment. (NIV)
1 The one who lives alone is self-indulgent,
showing contempt for all who have sound judgment. (NRSV)
It’s interesting how these two translations try to express the same truth. The NIV refers to the person being “unfriendly” and the NRSV as the “one who lives alone.” Ultimately both translations point to the fact that the person is selfish, either pursuing “selfish ends” or is “self-indulgent.” This means that the person has chosen to live in this particular way, without participating in the life of the community.
We were created to be in community. That’s why wisdom says that this individual “defies all sound judgment.” or shows contempt “for all who have sound judgment.” In other words, those who live together within a community are the ones who show sound judgment. Choosing to be a loner is unwise.
Choosing to be a loner is unwise from a spiritual perspective. This isn’t about living alone, it’s about doing life alone. We may be single and yet, we are always called to do life in community.
Church is to be a source of community for Christ-followers. In this way, the one who chooses to try and be religious on their own, is foolish. They are foolish because it is impossible to truly grow spiritually when trying to do it on our own.
There is much to be learned when living in community. The walls of selfishness come crashing down because when we interact on a personal level with others, we soon discover that there is a great deal of give and take in relationships. We learn that we can’t always have everything our own way, but that we must share with others. All of this results in sound judgment.
When we reach beyond ourselves and we get to know those around us we become aware of their needs. Their needs become our needs when we have compassion. No longer can I be selfish with what I have but I must invest in others to make a difference in their lives.
Choosing to be a loner is not an option for a Christ-follower. Christ will lead us out into a needy and hurting world where his generosity must flow through us.
Lord, may I live my life out of the overflow of my relationship with you. Amen.