With the isolation brought about by COVID-19, even self-proclaimed introverts have realized their need for people, as is our nature. We are relational beings because God is a social God (Gen 1:26a) and we were made in His image.
“It is not good that the man should be alone,” God states Genesis 2:18, and there are many reasons for this.
#1 — We need people to bear one another’s burdens
When Moses was shepherding the myriads of Israel alone, his father-in-law told him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone” (Exodus 18:17-18).
We were not designed to run this race by ourselves, so elders were appointed to aid Moses saying “they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone” (Numbers 11:17b). This is the beauty of delegation.
#2 — We need other people to see the flaws we’re blind to
We tend to protect ourselves from what we don’t want to know about ourselves, but you can’t treat a disease if you don’t know it’s there, like how it’s hard to remove the log from your eye (Matt 7:3-5).
“We all need people to tell us when we are wrong, to advise us on how to do right, and to encourage, support, arouse, cooperate, and inspire us along the way.”–David Brooks, The Road to Character
#3 — We need people to get out of our self-absorbed pits
Time and time again, I’ve found that the longer I spend by myself, the more I get tied up in my head and stuck in unhealthy thought circles.
While my introverted nature would prefer to remain comfortably at home, the tried and true cure has always been to get out with other people.
No matter the cause behind my sunken spirit, I always feel better after spending time observing those around me rather than thinking about this or that situation of mine.
#4 — We need people to better reflect the Person and work of our Father
For the life of the world, we are to live out God’s love through our interactions with others so non-believers can see Christ in us.
“Jesus needed people because He needed to pour out the love of God into them,” my dad wrote in his book Get Ready. “Without somebody to love, how could any of us fully understand, experience, or image the Lord?”
#5 — We need people to better know about God
Because human beings were made in the image of God, we can experience a micro-aspect of God’s character in each person we meet.
Tim Keller once used the analogy of friendships to explain this concept:
- You cannot fully know friend A without friend B because of how friend A laughs at friend B’s jokes.
- You can’t say, “Without friend B I get more of friend A because I’m spending one-on-one time with them” because there isn’t that aspect that only friend B brings out of friend A.
This is how it is with bearing God’s image to others. You cannot fully know God apart from community (Phil 1:12-18).
“If You ever allow me to become transfixed by a face that is not Yours, may it be because I see You more clearly when I gaze upon it.”-Emily Bennett