Scott Kedersha Ministry/Leadership

A few weeks ago I shared six reasons why we need community. Life in community with others is fuller, richer, more fun, and is better for your intimacy with Jesus. Today: the corollary to this post: Why we don’t want community and instead love to isolate. 

6 Reasons Why We Avoid Community

Here are six reasons why we avoid community, choosing isolation over relationships with others.

1. We are full of pride. The number one reason why we don’t want community is because we don’t want others to see our issues. If I avoid others, then they don’t have to see my real problems. As long as my personal public relations department is working, then you can just see my good side. I’m afraid what will happen if I let you see all of my problems.

Sometimes we don’t want others to know our struggles because we believe they’ll think less of us. Meanwhile, the one who conceals his sin will never prosper (Proverbs 28:13). So instead of walking with the wise, we continue to play the fool and suffer harm (Proverbs 13:20). We love our sin more than we love our Savior.

2. We don’t want to get well. We talk a good game, but when it comes down to it, we are like the man in John 5:1-15 who says he wants to get well, but really doesn’t want to pay the price required for real life change. Just like I shared about my pornography struggles in the past, I claimed I wanted to get well, but just didn’t want to give up my sin.

For example: say you struggle with money/consumerism. You know you can’t afford to buy the new television, but you really want it. So you hide from community, who will probably tell you no, so you just avoid even bringing up the topic. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”

3. We belong to churches that don’t value authentic community. Many churches don’t talk about community and relationships, and if they do, they portray a shallow, inauthentic picture of community. Many of us are in “community,” but we’re not really in community. In other words, we show up and pretend or just give the partial picture.

Watermark just finished a six-part series called “Together” where we challenged all members of community groups to devote daily, live authentically, counsel biblically, pursue relationally, engage missionally and admonish faithfully. If Watermark is not your church home or if it is and you haven’t heard the series, please listen to the messages. In all my years of going to Watermark, this has been one of my favorites.

4. We (allegedly) don’t have time. We have plenty of time to watch every sports game or every reality television show, but when it comes to community, all of sudden we don’t have the time. Or, we prioritize the wrong things. I am often guilty of this one. I can make time for my own selfish desires, and consequently I can choose to place other pursuits in life over relationships.

5. We hide behind our personality and wiring. In other words, the introvert can make the excuse they don’t need community because they do not draw life from being with others. In reality, we are wired with a need for relationships. It is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18)! All you need to do is look at all of the “One anothers” in scripture to see that we were ALL meant to live in community with others (i.e. Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, Colossians 3:13 – Forgive one another, Hebrews 3:13 – Encourage one another).

6. A special word for my friends in full-time vocational ministry. We think we have to have it all together. Sometimes we believe the lie that we have to portray the perfect life. I just listened to one of my great friends share yesterday as he celebrated finishing up our recovery program, re:generation. What I love about this friend is that he is in a very public ministry role in our church. I love how he isn’t afraid to share where he falls short, but also took the time to do something about it.

If those of us in full-time vocational ministry feel the need to pretend like we have it all together, then why would those in our local churches feel the freedom to share their hurts, habits, addictions and struggles? We need others in our lives who will love us, accept us and aren’t impressed by us.

As I shared in my prior post, the form of community is not nearly as important as the function of community. If you don’t have community in your life, ask why not and then do whatever you have to do to find it and live it out.

Your Turn:

As you look at the list above, which of the six reasons do you most struggle with that keep you from experiencing community with others?

We’re all sinners – everyone one of us! So why do you think we feel the need to hide from others, when community is one of God’s greatest gifts and provisions for spiritual growth?

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