One of the important parts of life as a Christian is being part of a community and enjoying the companionship of others. In Hebrews 10, we read: ‘Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another’ (v.24-25 NIVUK). We need fellowship with others to inspire us and remind us that we’re all part of God’s kingdom. It’s also important for us to spend time with someone when they need comfort or encouragement. But there are also times when we need to give people space. This can be something we forget, especially if we’re people who prefer company, or if we’re having a great time with someone. Proverbs 25:17 says: ‘Don’t visit your neighbours too often, or you will wear out your welcome.’ Even when we enjoy someone’s company, we should be mindful that we’re not demanding too much of their time. And sometimes people just need to be alone with God. Luke 5:16 tells us that ‘Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed’ (NIV). Jesus often took time to get away from everyone and the demands of His ministry to rest in God’s presence. It can be especially difficult to leave someone alone when they’re upset or worried, but there’ll be moments when people need our company, and moments when they need God’s. We need to try and be sensitive to the needs of others, and discern when they need space. And let’s not neglect our own space – however much we love company, we also need solitary time ourselves.
Set aside 30 minutes today to spend some time alone. Put your phone on silent and try to remove all external distractions. Spend that time doing something you enjoy – maybe read your favourite book, or do something creative, or simply bask in God’s presence.
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