Wednesday, 16 March 2011

21st Century Island Syndrome

The film 'About a boy' (which I like more than I should) begins with Hugh Grant telling us what rubbish the statement 'no man is an island' is because in our age now is the perfect time to be an island. The film goes on to suggest that he is wrong however, I reckon a lot of us still think he is right. What with computers, books, tv, sports etc sometimes being an Island can feel rather nice. It feels especially nice when you have been let down and hurt by people. As life goes on and we grow in our realisation that people are unreliable and often hard work it's often tempting to pull up the draw bridge and withdraw to our private island.

I see a whole host of people within the church who seem to have withdrawn from people. Perhaps they cross paths with other people occasionally but in terms of real, vibrant, honest, committed friendships they have given up on them. They view them as unimportant, not worth the effort and something they don't have time for.

To be like this is to rebel against God's purposes...

God's purpose in creation was to make something which was capable of real friendship with him. That something was us. We are designed for real friendship.

However, when man was alone (in a perfect world) there was still something not right in the world because God had created something in his own image which meant he had created something which needed real, strong and loving relationships.

Humanity messed that up so God came down to earth to redeem his people. Why did he do this? Well the whole purpose of this redemption was to rebuild these friendships. To make it possible for people to have a real and vibrant friendship with God and strong, loving friendships with each other.

To reject honest, genuine and loving friendships is actually not simply a question of choice but a rebellion against God's purposes in creating you and redeeming you. It is worrying to see how many Christians seem to have opted out of real friendships, for one reason or another, considering that it was in order for you to make real friendships that you were both created and redeemed.


  1. I think everyone needs strong friendships to help and encourage them. Being on your own and withdrawing from those who can help in my experience only leads to depression and frustration. "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves" keeps us sharp and fresh for the fight, it encourages and strengthens us. When the world is hard and cold you can find warmth and love. Isn't that why God made us a body/family? Part of His amazing community. It is silly to withdraw from they very thing we were created to do. :)