We were meant to participate in each other’s lives. The Bible talks so much about our togetherness and our interactions with one another. We’re together a holy dwelling. We’re together a temple. We’re together a body and a church.
The togetherness of scripture indicates a way we’re designed to work best: together. To see ourselves as individuals unto ourselves is a misunderstanding of identity. We’re most ourselves when we see our interdependence and communal (rather than isolated) selves.
The lonely soul, the isolated soul, quickly experiences desolation. It takes some work and initiative, but we must press on to join community and help others do the same. We thrive and flourish together, just as God intended. When one of us suffers or sins, we are all damaged.
Teaching children to build community and connect with one another in life-giving ways is one of the tasks of parenting. But American culture offers a full assault on togetherness as we have increasing temptations for isolation (I can do everything online without having to speak to a soul!), self-promotion at the expense of community, pseudo connection through social media, competition instead of connection, gossip and comparison, jealousy, and division.
Part of our spiritual growth conversations might be about where and how we’re fostering connection instead of isolation and division. We reflect the glory and beauty of God in our togetherness, so why not fight for it?