“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.–Proverbs 18:1

Self-sufficiency is a sin. God made us to be dependent creatures; to live in community. We need each other: families, churches, and broader communities. Part of the self-deception of sin is the siren call to be our own god; to always do it our way. The problem with trying to be god is that the job is way too big for us and so, in order to maintain control, we must shrink our world and eliminate all threats. Eventually, everything becomes a threat and thus my world must continue to shrink. Everything out there becomes an enemy and we begin to speculate about what they’re up to. Proverbs 11:14 tells us that “in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” We need one another more than we think.

When we isolate ourselves we find it increasingly hard to feel loved because we forget how to love. Love is always about others; about sacrifice for others; about meeting the needs of others even before meeting our own needs. Loving God and loving our neighbors are the two greatest commandments. Denying ourselves is the starting place of following Christ. He gave Himself for the Church because He loved her. It’s only in losing our lives that we gain it; and more specifically, we lose our lives as we give for others. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).