It wasn’t long ago my son and I were watching the Star Wars movie “Han Solo” and I was struck by something: I never realized how Han received his last name! When he explained, "I don't have people," Han tells an officer, "I'm alone." The officer then decides to give him the last name "Solo." It fit him because that was the nature of his life, to live in isolation flying around the galaxy as somewhat of a loner.
Christian, we’ve all been tempted to live as a loner.
Caught up in the moment, the knee-jerk reaction to go Solo really does sound exciting doesn’t it? Without anyone to answer to you can fly around living for Jesus and leave community life on some dumpy planet. The reality is we’ve all been tempted to believe that life as a Christian loner is much easier and safer.
Christian, God exists in community and you should too.
Have you ever thought about the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity? God is three individual persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and yet is One. In Genesis chapter 1, God spoke the world into existence and then for the first time we see The Perfect community on display. He says in verse 26, “Let us make man in our, after our likeness.” God is conversing within the Triune Godhead about creating mankind! It’s mysterious, yes, but the life application is clear: God wasn’t on a solo mission and you shouldn’t be either.
Christian, God made you in His image to embrace community.
Embracing Christian community only makes sense when we first look up and then start looking around. Without going to deep, one of the results of being made in God’s image is that we reflect our relational Creator. We are relational because He is relational. We have thoughts about relationships because He sought relationship with us. The only true experience of community life takes place first with God and then with others. Without the transforming work of the Gospel bringing us back to God we are left either annoyed with relationships or idolizing them.
Christian, there is hope!
The pain we’ve experienced in relationships is a reminder that our ultimate hope is in Christ who saved us, not people. This frees us to draw near to people knowing our security is found in Jesus who will never leave us nor forsake us. Isolation from Christian community is often a reflection of our desire for self-protection. We don’t want to be hurt and we certainly don’t want to be misunderstood. Who does? We’ve all been there. Yet, look at the life of Jesus! He constantly extended Himself in community life with others only to be hurt and often misunderstood. Why?! His attitude was not self-preservation but self-forgetfulness (Philippians 2). He loved not to be loved or to gain but to serve and to give. Jesus perfectly modeled what life should look like in Christian community. The life of isolation might seem appealing but when you truly see who God is—how He made you and drew near to you—your Han Solo days should be over.