“Stand on your own two feet!” “Fend for yourself!” “Go solo!” “Mind your own business!” Sound familiar? Are we meant to “go-it” alone?
We are the most technologically connected people ever and the most disconnected people emotionally, relationally, and spiritually!
Add a heaping helping of social distancing and home isolation to our independent western-ness, and we have a recipe for the significant uptick in rates of anxiety, depressive disorder, and suicide.
Porcupines operate in fight or flight mode, walking around in a defensive posture with “backs-up” in relative isolation (there aren’t “flocks or herds” of porcupines.) The scientific name for the porcupine loosely translates as, “”the animal with the irritating back.”
Do we walk around in defensive aloneness? We don’t need to, and we can be thankful that God has answers. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). It may take creativity on our part to intentionally connect in our world today, but ask God for help. Even this current world situation does not surprise Him! We can surely find ways to, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2.
Research shows that even people with poor health habits but strong social ties live longer than people with good health habits and poor social ties. Secular researcher, Robert Putnam found that people who regularly attend church gatherings have “super-charged” relationships and become the most physically and emotionally happy people!
The “Body of Christ” implies relationship! Faith in Christ alone for our salvation brings us into eternal relationship with our Creator and yes, He did plan for us to live in connected community with other believers and to reach out in connection to a lost world.
So, let’s connect and reconnect, NOT like a porcupine… like children of the Most High God!
By Peggy Sperling