"Solitaire"

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By: Katie Rath

1 Peter 2:17, “Honor everyone. Keep on loving the community of believers, fearing God, and honoring the king.” (ISV)


I love the card game solitaire. I love repeatedly flipping through the cards, rarely discouraged by how many times I lose; I just keep playing until I win. Sometimes I even make a game out of the game, telling my cards that I won’t go to sleep or take a shower or read my devotions until I win. I have played so many times that I have “lucky cards” or preferred decks of cards that I am sure will help me win. For me, solitaire is the perfect mix of a mindless game that still keeps you thinking. But what I love best about solitaire is the most basic part of the game – you play alone.

A few years ago, I shared my love of the solitude of solitaire with my mother, and she told me something that absolutely shocked me. She told me that there are versions of solitaire that you can play with other people! What?! Involving others in the game undermines the name of the game and ruins the entire thing! But she assured me that playing solitaire with other people was more fun than playing alone, and it took strategy and speed. She invited me and my sister to come to the kitchen table, and she taught us how to play multi-player solitaire. Although I’m not completely convinced that it’s the best way to play, I had to admit that playing solitaire with other people was indeed fun.

There are some of us who absolutely love the community aspect of life. We are co-dependent people who appreciate being with other people and prefer not to be alone, especially when going through hard times. And then there are other people who prefer to go at it by themselves, just like I like playing the game of solitaire alone. But in a community of Christians, walking alone, while more comfortable for some people, is often the least desirable circumstance.

Scripture is adamant about community. Multiple times we as Christians are told we should desire to be a part of Christ’s family. Jesus’ analogy of the Church being a body furthers explains that we need each other to fulfill our duties to Christ, and that without each other, we wouldn’t make it very far at all and we are more susceptible to Satan’s advances.

God created humans as relational beings. God made a partner for Adam, and then He gave them children, and the concept of a family was formed. Friendship is another strong element in the Bible. Community is so important to Jesus that He lived His own life in that way, sharing everything with His disciples. Our interactions with other people are meant for encouragement and love; starving yourself of those things is spitting in the eye of the God who made you to crave them. Maybe you’re the type of person who doesn’t recognize the need for community, and you’d rather just be alone. However, even in our most solitary moments, we are never alone; we always have Jesus beside us.

Prayer:

God, You have made us to love each other. Sometimes it’s not easy to love the people around us, but I pray that You help strengthen us to appreciate the community around us. Help us to love our families and friends and respect them as You would. Help us to really care about other people and enjoy the body of Christ, of which we are members. You created us to live among other people, and I pray that You would help us recognize how important that is, even when we’d rather be alone. You are so good. Thank You for giving us our families and friends. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Every Teen Girl's Little Pink Book on Girlfriends, by Cathy Bartel

Dark Blue: Color Me Lonely, by Melody Carlson

Think About It:

Am I someone who likes being alone or with other people?

How can I still show my family and friends I love them even if I don’t always like being with them?

Live It:

Are you the type of person who likes being around people or being alone? Even though it isn’t good for people to be alone, God made you who you are for a reason. Think about ways that you can still serve God and love other people, while primarily working by yourself. Serving in quiet places like a library or an office are great ways to love your community while still mainly being by yourself.

Power Verses:

Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (NAS)

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “So then, encourage one another and build each other up, as you are doing.” (NIV)


© 2009 by Katie Rath. All rights reserved.

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