Written by Miracle Hawkins, Contributing Writer
Even before the pandemic, loneliness and isolation was on the rise. This lack of connectivity caused symptoms of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, loneliness and isolation are only increasing more rapidly. What can help it? Community. Community was created by God to be a blessing to us. Community refers to the building up of the Body. God does not want His children to be isolated or disengaged from one another. From the beginning, God declared that it was not good for man to be alone. The truth is that community is critical for Christian growth and it makes us stronger in our faith. Christian community provides us with new insight, encouragement, relationships, support, and love.
Due to the social distancing guidelines, we can still find creative ways to stay connected as Christians. Whether that involves attending church virtually, joining a small group, or joining an online church, meeting with a few friends to encourage one another, texting uplifting words to a group that you are a part of, or creating safe spaces for friends and family who might be struggling. There are many ways for us to find community in this new virtual space we are living in and it is important that we do. This is because one of the enemy’s tactics is to attack the isolated. The enemy wants to stir up feelings of loneliness, abandonment, disappointment, and rejection. It is all a part of his strategy to distract us and keep us from fellowship. We are stronger and better together.
Community is needed now more than ever as the pandemic has changed the operation of everything, especially the way we congregate. However, it is important to refrain from becoming completely disengaged. Yes, God is always with us, but He wants us to also lean on one another and encourage one another. The following are scriptures that highlight how important community is to God:
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
1 Corinthians 12:25-27
That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.