The more I read and understand the Bible for myself, the more I comprehend the depths of God’s teachings. I’ve come to see that the book has actually very little to do with Religion. In fact, what The Bible does is show us a way of living that is beneficial to our health--spiritually, and otherwise. My latest epiphany pertains to one of the most powerful tools The Devil/Satan uses in deceiving and imprisoning us, mainly Isolation.
Isolation is Satan’s method of making us feel “completely separated from others”, thereby isolating us for real. The most painful moments in our lives are when we feel the most alone. Loneliness most often leads to destructive behavior such as depression, alcohol and drug abuse, prostitution, homicide and suicide to name a few.
So, how does Satan get you to isolate yourself or feel isolated?
His primary tactics are Fear and Pride.
Think of the last time you were afraid of something, really afraid. Perhaps you were perspiring, stomach in a knot, heart pounding--the world you knew came crumbling down and you didn’t know where and how to proceed. You begin to feel like no one understands. You begin to feel like you're the only one going through it. You begin to feel like you're all alone. And that is precisely where Satan wants you. No one is more defenseless than someone who has lost the will to fight and doesn't call for help because they already believe no one will come to the rescue nor understand. He makes you feel isolated but has You create the actual environment of isolation by blocking everyone out.
When these moments come, the wise ones seek companionship and counsel from those they trust: family, intimate other, or from a trusted friend gaining the blessing from a truth I believe is known to all; that having someone to support us through the difficult and fearful times, makes it all more bearable . With the help of others, we are able to overcome obstacles while renewing our trust, love, and faith in others. Sadly, however, in contrast to the aforementioned group are others who, either because of lack of support or as a result of their own foolishness, do not receive or seek out the companionship and counsel needed to endure and overcome a fearful situation. They either succumb to Fear by turning to destructive coping measures, or bear it alone, which often leads them further down the trap of isolation.
Another tactic Satan uses in trapping us into self-isolation is Pride.
Pride is described as having a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority. In good measure, Pride can be considered a healthy way of perceiving oneself, allowing us to tackle many of life’s obstacles with confidence and conviction. Often however, it is a means of suppressing others, exerting our own dominance over whom we deem inferior to us. Prideful folks tend to be close-minded, stubborn, and ego-driving. They relish glory and admiration, leaving room for little else of substance in their lives. They rarely seek help or support even when necessary, foolishly isolating themselves to their own ends.
What does Fear and Pride have in common? The common denominator is the ‘I’ in Isolation. In both, Fear and Pride, people can become obsessed with ‘I’. ‘I’ am alone; no one understands, no one cares. ‘I’ can do this on my own; ‘I’ don’t need anyone else. As long as you allow Satan to have you in ‘I’-solation you lose. If he is a being powerful, or stubborn enough to think to challenge God, what chance do you stand alone against him? Thankfully, God has given us the keys to victory when he said to “love…God…and love…one another.”
Love is the opposite of both Fear and Pride. Loving one another ensures we are never isolated, and never fall prey to Satan’s false commentary about who we are and our self-worth.
Religious or not, no one can deny the power of Love. No matter where it comes from: parents, siblings, friends, lovers, even pets; love comforts, love heals, love inspires. We are the best we can be with Love. Stay within the shelter of Love, for without, we are left prey to the wilderness of isolation and the dangers therein.
Love God. Love one another. (Mt 22:37-39)