"...Individually members of one another..." (Romans 12:5)
Carol is currently out of town for 10 days. Don't you feel sorry for me? I hope so.
Don't misunderstand. I am very thankful when she travels the country teaching and helping women live the life that God has given them to live. This is her calling.
Now back to me! I don't like an empty house! So go ahead and feel sorry for me.
I'm joking (partially).
Being alone, for me, is a struggle for obvious reasons. I have been married for almost 39 years. My wife is my life. I love her. I need her. I depend on her presence in the course of my daily existence. I realize that fact more than ever when she is gone.
Now, enough about me. What about you?
The "alone" status is very much a reality for many people. In fact our culture is now largely defined by it. For the first time in our history, there are just as many single adults as there are married adults - in fact slightly more. There are many reasons for this, mostly negative. But that issue is for another blog.
Aloneness is an issue whether you are single or married. Most people, on some level, live in the twilight zone of feeling alone. You may be introverted. You may be a loner kind of person. Or maybe you have been "burned" by others and are not willing to take the risk of building trusting relationships. You may think that you have everything you need, in and of yourself. Who needs others?
The problem is... You were never meant to exist as an individual alone. You were actually designed by God to fit into a team with others.
Certainly, there are times that we need be alone. There are times we cannot help but be alone. But "alone" is never a permanent solution. We were created to be "members of one another" (Rom. 12:5).
I'm not speaking here of your living status. I’m talking about how you live your life.
When God created man, He said, "It is not good for man to be alone." He was not just stating the need for a marriage relationship. He was declaring a truth. And He declared it before man fell into sin. It is amazing that in this perfect Garden of Eden, in which the effects of sin had not yet made anything "bad," God says there is something that "is not good."
"It is not good for man to be alone."
One of the earliest principles given to man was his need for others. He would never function in wholeness, never fulfill his purpose, never really be happy without factoring "others" into his existence.
This is why the people around you were made differently than you. They have different personality traits, different temperaments, different talents and skills. They come from different backgrounds. They have different likes and dislikes. And even though the weaknesses of others may drive you crazy, you are actually attracted to their strengths; the strengths that you do not have. You are intrinsically drawn to the characteristics in others that you lack.
God has created mankind to be incomplete without healthy, meaningful relationships. It is not that any one person on the planet is going to meet all of your needs. That particular ability lies with God and God alone. But a big part of God's strategy to grow and fulfill your life is through the daily development of personal relationships with others.
Ultimately, the purpose of our relationships is not about us. God has made us to fulfill a mission that is far greater than what any one person can do alone - the mission to "change the world." Sounds rather overwhelming, doesn't it? That's because He never intended for you to accomplish it alone. The only way to accomplish the purpose for which you were created is by teaming together with others. That is the missing element in your inability to increase the impact of your life.
You cannot do it alone.
Alone is not the answer.
I know it's risky. I know it comes with disappointment and pain. But the pain of emptiness, incompleteness, and the inability to fulfill your purpose on the planet is far greater than the failure of people to meet your expectations.
That's where your relationship with God kicks in. Lean on Him to be fulfilled. He will use others to help meet your needs. But your dependency is ultimately on Him.
The stakes here are really high. Your significance is hanging in the balance. Your purpose in life, your personality, gifts, and talents will never rise to their potential without rich connection with others.
Just ask either quarterback in last Sunday's Super Bowl this question... "Do you reach and win championships on your own?"
The quarterback awarded MVP this past year had his worst game of the season and lost. This was not because he played badly, but because his team could not keep the other team from getting to him. He should walk away realizing he could not win the big game without his team. The other quarterback, who is one of the greatest of all time, did not play such a great game... but his team won. The rest of the team stepped forward and made up for his weaknesses. At the end of the game, he was the player most interviewed. He was the most respected. It was one of the greatest and most fulfilling moments in his life. But he knew that he did not win that game - his team did.
We are like Legos. Alone, we will never serve our purpose, never find significance, or ever become relevant. We aren't even much to look at without fitting together with others. Look at a Lego piece all by itself. It doesn't even make sense! Now look at the finished product. It all comes together. The one piece is no longer just one piece. It fits. It works. It even looks better than it did by itself.
Ask yourself the following questions. Do I have more than one friend? Is there a group of healthy people that I identify with and belong to? Do I meet at least once a week with people who love and worship God? Do I worship with them? Am I learning and growing together with them? Do I humble myself and listen to the others in my life? Am I picking up on those strengths in them that are weaknesses in me?
Now for the big one: Do I team together with others to serve and give to people in need? Are we changing the world together?
God made you to be in a team relationship with other healthy people. Without realizing it, this may be exactly what you are missing in your life.
Start fresh with a list of people that you will intentionally seek to connect with. Come together with others so that you may become the person God intended for you to be. Then roll up your sleeves, learn to fit in team, and open your eyes to the bigger purpose.
Let's change the world together! We cannot do it alone.
Alone is not the answer.