At first sight these two words really don’t seem that different to me. According Wikipedia, isolation is keeping apart from others; being kept apart from others. Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, lack of contact with people. It goes on to say short term solitude is valued as a time when one may work, think or rest without being disturbed. Solitude may be desired for the sake of privacy. Well, I’m still not really seeing the difference…my mind is strange. But I type this because of an inspirational message I heard last week that specifically spoke about isolation (spirit of isolation to be exact) and solitude.
In the spiritual sense we can isolate ‘be off to ourselves” because we don’t want to be around or bothered with people and their issues or even our own issues. We sulk and have pity party or we don’t really want to hear the right thing because we want to do the wrong thing. This is our flesh at work BIG TIME!! Now, this was a hard pill for me to swallow at first. But as I kept listening to the preacher talk he made sense. Wanting to be isolated from people and thinking about how I’ve been wronged or hurt or how life isn’t what I wanted or expected it to be is my FLESH talking…very LOUDY. No where in that conversation and my “alone time” am I listening to the voice of God. This mentality can only lead to my detriment, spiritually speaking.
When he spoke about solitude in the spiritual sense, that would be my time spent alone with the Holy Spirit, seeking, praising and worshipping God, learning His ways and listening for direction. This solitude, unintertrputed time with God to know Him the more, read His word, learn His plans and purpose for me and the Kingdom that would be godly solitude with godly end results. My solitude with God should produce some fruit, in me.
An Elder at my church recently taught a message about double lives. Our lives should be filled with ongoing encounters with the Holy Spirit, building our endurance in our Christian walk and transforming us to have more and more of Christ’s attributes: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfullness, goodness kindness, gentleness, and self control.
So next time I just want to get away or hide out in my home (haha) or call off work or not attend church services, etc etc…… I need to check my motives, especially when the day to day stresses of life really get to me. Am I seeking isolation or solitude? Am I seeking me or God? What type of fruit is my alone time going to bring forth?
I’m all for disconnecting for vacations..I live to disconnect in that sense, lolol. But this really made me think about my day to day mindset. If I get it right on a daily my vacations won’t feel like such long awaited mental renewals that only come every 3, 6, 9 or 12 months depending on your PTO, lolol.
Lets be intentional about our solitude with God, having our minds renewed daily and bringing forth fruit that will make us valuable in the Kingdom and pleasing to our Creator.
Peace and Blessings until next time!