January 2, 2023

Check back each Monday for a short devotional with Chaplain Art Pace to help you start the week off well. 

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1) 

It is interesting that in an age of connectivity so many Service Members and Veterans report feeling lonely or isolated. We sometimes bring this on ourselves. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, addressed this issue head on. 

Solomon tells us that we often isolate ourselves in order to satisfy our own desires. We become so driven by self-interests that we do not make quality time for family, friends, and our community. Those interests could be things like social media, hobbies, television, or binge drinking, but by necessity or choice we do them alone. Such isolation goes against all sound judgment and can cause damage to ourselves and to those who care about us. It shows an unwillingness to make small (and sometimes large) sacrifices to have a good relationship with others. Above all, it is not pleasing to God. 

Do not misunderstand. With myriad demands made on Service Members and their families, making time occasionally to decompress or recharge makes complete sense and can even be therapeutic. The danger, King Solomon warns us, is when we make isolation a lifestyle.  

When we cut ourselves off from the world, we often cut ourselves off from God. Solomon therefore implies a solution. A person of sound judgment seeks God’s desire for their life and stays connected to God’s people. 

If we are feeling isolated, it is time to pray for the Lord to show us who to reach out to, or who needs us to reach out to them. It is time to exercise sound Godly judgment. 

What are you doing to stay connected to family, friends, and Christian fellowship? Who do you know who may be isolating themselves that you could encourage? 

My loving Father, thank you for always being with me. Show me a path out of my loneliness and show me who I can reach out to who may also be feeling lonely. Amen.