All by Yourself: Going it Alone at Disneyland, and in Life
Sometimes my best friend, Andy (whom I have mentioned before) and I went together, and that was always a special kind of fun. And once I started coming regularly with my wife, Faye, and we both had annual passes, it was no longer nearly as much fun to go by myself. I still enjoy it alone, but not anything like I do when I’m not alone. There’s something to be said for sharing the experiences, developing the “inside jokes”, and building memories together that going alone simply can’t replace.
Even when he envisioned it, Walt wanted it to be a place where parents and their children could have fun together. It was designed to be enjoyed with others.
The Christian life is the same way. In theory, you can do it on your own, but the only way to truly get everything out of it that there is to get out of it—to learn all you can, to grow all you can, to serve all you can, to love all you can—you must experience it with others. There must be fellowship. There must be companionship on the journey. They must be others to experience life together with us.
The New Testament uses the phrase “one another” or the similar phrase “each other”, over 50 times. Here’s a short list:
- Love one another (John 13:34)
- Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
- Build up one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
- Admonish one another (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16)
- Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
- Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)
- Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:2, 32; Colossians 3:13)
- Be patient with one another (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13)
- Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)
- Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21, 1 Peter 5:5)
- Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13)
- Teach one another (Colossians 3:16)
- Comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
- Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Encourage (or exhort) one another (Hebrews 3:13)
If you’d like to see a longer list, there’s a great list (as a PDF) here.
These are all part of following Jesus and being obedient. How many can you do by yourself?
Now, this doesn’t necessarily have to all be in the context of the “traditional church”, but there must be a group of believers that you are committed to and that are committed to you. This comes easier for some of us than others (I’m definitely in the latter category), but it’s so important.
We need to share each other’s struggles, rejoice with victories, meet needs, give love, and provide opportunities for others to give love. Not being part of a faith community not only robs you of the chance to be obedient to God, it robs others of it as well. After all, if you have a need God wants someone to meet, and you isolate & insulate yourself, how can they do what God has called them to do?
We get busy. We don’t want to be hurt. We don’t want to be selfless. There are countless reasons to try to go it alone. But there’s one excellent reason not to. We were designed for community. That’s enough for me. Is it for you?
Question: Have you avoided (intentionally or unintentionally) being part of a faith community? Have you notice a difference in the way you live your life as a Christian? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.