A Man Who Isolates Himself... - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Biblical Wisdom College Admissions
February 1, 2017

A Man Who Isolates Himself...

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

Here are some other translations:

Who lives by himself follows his own whim; he is angered by advice of any kind. (JB)
The man who holds aloof seeks every pretext to bare his teeth; he defies all sound judgment. (NEB)

Some people live alone because friends and families have abandoned them. Psalm 27:10 is for them. “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take care of me.” And solitary survivors like Robinson Crusoe, or the hero in the movie Castaway, fascinate. But the loner is someone who purposely holds himself aloof, like the Unabomber, Mathematician Ted Kaczynski. People doggedly moving ever farther away from one another constitute hell in C.S. Lewis’ book, The Great Divorce.

How does the loner think? Everyone else is unworthy! “People are fools.” “No one understands my genius.” “People let me down.” “I like to make my own decisions.” “I don’t fit in here, I am a foot, not a hand (I Corinthians 12:15).” Even Elijah when he ran to Sinai by himself, whining, “I, only I, am left (I Kings 19:10),” earns God’s rebuke. “Elijah, what are you doing here (I Kings 19:9)?”

Many claim the name of Christ, but proudly steer clear of His Body, the Church. They listen to radio preachers, read Christian books, and even hold “church” at home. People who require much patience, or who differ on some point, or even worse, who offer advice, are not for them. Better alone!

What is a loner at heart? He wants what he wants. It is his way and his ideas, or he takes his ball and goes home. Give and take, accepting advice, or serving others is not for him. He showers the church, society, and his family with scorn. If he could marry, he would marry himself, a small modern fad that has attracted attention lately as people hold wedding ceremonies for themselves alone. Say to such a person, “Look, it is not good for you to be alone (Genesis 2:18),” and he will rage. How dare anyone give him advice!

Imagine the Prodigal Son in Jesus’ parable being told he was going to lose his money and be lonely if he left home. Wrathfully, he rejects the advice, and off he goes on a whim to a far country, where he promptly wastes his money in riotous living and is soon friendless, stuck feeding pigs, whose slop he was hungry enough to eat himself. Only when that lonely son finally came to his senses did he humbly return to his family where his father welcomed him home.

Every proud loner needs to come to his senses, seek human companionship, and learn to listen to advice. It is not good for man, or woman, to be alone. All followers of Christ belong in His Church Visible, “outside of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation (WCF 25.2).”

- Dr. Bill Edgar, Geneva College Board Member, Trustee, and former President