Being a Loner Really Stinks

June 14, 2010 at 10:30 pm (A Slice of Life, Attitudes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Posted by Lauren

That title may be blunt, but it is so, so true. I can be quite the introvert.  So much so that despite being blessed with amazing friends, I still manage to be a bit of a loner.  But as I struggle to fight selfishness in my heart I realize that I can’t do it alone. Sure, the Lord is with me, and I can overcome sin by the power of His Spirit, but He Himself has chosen to make me a part of His body, the church, so that, by His word and by His Spirit, I might be encouraged to press on in godliness all the more as I interact with other believers. Sure it’s possible to grow when it’s just “me and God”, but that is NOT what God intends. He has so designed it, and so designed me, that I should find my greatest growth when I am pursuing Him alongside other believers, seeking their good and they seeking mine.

With this on my mind recently, I was delightedly reminded of my need for fellowship and accountability today when I visited At The Well and checked out their summer Bible study: We Are the Body.

Today’s study began with the question, “Do you have something in your teeth?” You know, it was a reminder that your truest friend is one who will tell you when something isn’t quite right. It might be unpleasant to have to be the one to break it to your pal: “Your breath stinks.” But in the end, you’ve done your friend a favor. Trust me on this one–one of my life-long best friends proved her love to me in 6th grade by telling me I needed to brush my teeth! My dad had always said, “Your friends don’t love you like your family does–they won’t tell you if your breath stinks, for example.” Haha! Thank you, Meredith, for proving him wrong!

I digress…

The point is, we need to be the loving kind of sisters that gently confront each other and encourage each other–even when it’s uncomfortable. That’s part of being the body of Christ. That’s part of being a true friend in the Lord.

Along those lines, the study left me with two questions to consider:
Do you daily study your “reflection” to see if you have “something in your teeth?” (James 1)

And:

What kind of accountability of believers do you have in your life right now?

These are good questions! First off, I shouldn’t neglect my own responsibility to seek God’s face and dig into His word, pleading with Him to show me where I need to change and listening when He does. I’ve needed this challenge recently–I all too easily get an attitude when someone falls down on their job of keeping me accountable: “Humph! If you’re not going to hold me accountable, I’m going to show you just how much you’re failing me! I wouldn’t be doing so poorly right now if you had just checked up on me!” I shake my head in shame….

The second question highlights a particular spot in which I am very needy. I am surrounded by amazing godly women at church on Sunday and during a weekly Bible study held at a lady’s home. But I’ve never sought out one of them to hold me accountable. I’ve thought and even prayed about it for a long, long time. But still haven’t acted. I’ve been an island for far too long. God forbid that I put off seeking the wisdom of a godly older woman any longer!

This comes into play when I consider this blog. Abigail and I began writing with a desire to be Titus 2 women, encouraging younger ladies in the Lord. And though we will continue to do so as long as the Lord allows, I am realizing more and more that I am one of the “younger women”. I need to be taught how to love my husband and my son (and future children), to be a sensible and pure worker at home, to be obedient to my husband–to keep God’s word from being spoken of as evil. I am not there. I need guidance!

And so I pray that my “loner days” are soon to be over. Praise God He is always with me and He has given me a godly husband to lead me–but I am eager to praise Him for what I will learn from one or more godly older women in my own local church!

His design for His people is so good! I can’t wait to be more and more a part of it!

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4 Comments

  1. Wandering.artist05 said,

    Lauren!!! You are such an awesome friend 🙂 I can’t believe you remember me saying that! I remember because I felt AWFUL after I said it- but I’m glad that you didn’t take it badly 🙂

    And you are so right- accountability is very important and, like you, I find it really hard to ask people to fill that role. It’s definitely something I need to work on!

    I miss you!!

  2. Julie Garst said,

    Lauren, we haven’t met personally but I do know Abigail and her family when they lived in Fredonia, KS.
    Thank you for reminding me of some important truths.
    The title of your article caught my eye and I gave it a read. You’re right on with your thoughts and I need to leave my “lonely island” too. May I do so gracefully!

  3. Vanessa said,

    I am one of those people who has longed for a mentor for years but has never been able to find one – I’ve never even been part of a Bible study. This is due to the fact that I live in a small town where the social world entirely revolves around nightclubs, AA meetings, and dead churches. My sisters and I have to travel to find Christian fellowship. It’s a discouraging situation and one that I hope and pray eventually changes, but it has given me an opportunity to realize what a desperate need there is for real Christians and churches in America. I have found that there are many Christian young ladies who are in the same situation I am. There are actually huge areas in America where there is no effective Christian witness. I can’t wait for the day to come when I actually meet a Christian lady who would actually want to mentor me!

  4. Anna Lofgren said,

    As one who tends to be more introverted, I can relate! I finally worked up the courage to ask a couple I highly respect to mentor me; they were more than happy to meet with me regularly, and our first meeting was last night. It was such an encouragement and also challenging. It’s hard to ask someone, but it’s so worth it!

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