In the 3rd century, an idea emerged called monasticism. This group believed that isolation was important for a person to be renewed and return to God. This isolation sometimes took the form of communal living and other times took the form of solitary isolation. It was thought that a person who separated himself from others would be able to focus their attention on God’s plan for growth. Isolation was a way of avoiding the weaknesses of people and finding strength from God.
Even today the ideas of monasticism are still prevalent in the Christianity. Many of us think that God works in our lives as we isolate ourselves from people and the imperfect influences around us. We think that prayer, Scriptures and Christ alone are everything that we need to have a thriving relationship. However, Ephesians 4:16 give us a very different perspective of our dependence upon other people: “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” God’s plan for growth uses people who are joined and held together in Christ, and that group builds itself up.
I’m sure that we can all testify to the incredible impact that God has had in our lives through people. Maybe God used a person to share the gospel with you, teach you about forgiveness, to show you his grace, to hold you accountable, to confront you about an addiction or to disciple you. May we not lose sight of the important role that God has given the Body of Christ has in our growth.
How can you join with other believers today?
Author: Pastor Zach (Valley Bible Church, Stephens City, Virginia)