Limiting Alone Time

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July 27, 2013 by lellielieb

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

This verse stood out to me as I read today because I like, no I LOVE, to be alone.  I recharge alone.  I need time to think, to process, to heal, to meditate.  Then I come out strong.  I was, therefore, a little shaken by what this verse seemed to be saying.  So, I compared other translations.  The NIV seemed to let me off because it translates isolation as unfriendliness:

An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

And though I have, at times, been accused of being unfriendly, I know in my heart that this is not true.  I’m an introvert.  That’s different.  But then I looked at the Amplified Version:

He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.

Here I find understanding and a warning I must heed.  I do need to be alone in order to recharge, but as Donald Miller observed in Blue Like Jazz, the need to be alone can get out of hand.  It can go too far and, when it does, it becomes selfish.  It feels so good to be alone that sometimes we introverts stay isolated willfully and too long.  In our isolation, pride grows.  We may start to think that wisdom and knowledge will die with us and when we come out of isolation, we come out fighting.  I can see this, and I need to remember it.  It’s okay to be alone to recharge; too much recharging, however, may cause my “batteries” to explode or corrode making a mess for others–another good lesson from Proverbs.

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