Recently I was house-sitting for my neighbors and enjoying some much needed time on my own to study the Bible and re-charge after having had a friend visit for the prior two weeks. Just out of curiosity, I did a keyword search in the Bible for “alone”. I had to admit, I was slightly surprised at my findings.
The American culture in which I live tends to idolize autonomy and encourages the “every man for himself” mentality. The Bible goes in the opposite direction. The very first mention of “alone” states “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). That theme seems to hold true throughout scripture, as the only positive mentions of people being alone are in reference to times when someone is away from people in order to have intimate personal communion with God (see Daniel 10:7-8, Matthew 14:23) or in order to flee from that which God doesn’t want, as Jesus did when the people wanted to force him to become their earthly king (John 16:15).
The only other times the word “alone” shows up as a positive thing is when the Bible talks about God. Unlike man, when God is alone, he is glorious, powerful, and doing great works (Isaiah 37:16, Psalm 136:4, Psalm 86:10, Nehemiah 9:6).
What does this mean for us? We ought to be mindful of how we use our time alone. Peace and rest are healthy, but let us remember that even those activities ought to be done in a way that causes us to love, honor, and be thankful towards God, rather than treating ourselves as idols.
This post was originally published on Captured Yet Fleeting on 5/19/17.
Photo (c) Sarah Iddings.