Individualism – an American Idol

I’m currently reading American Idols: The Worship of the American Dream by Bob Hostetler. The different chapters cover different idols that we tend to cling to in our American culture. So far I’ve read about consumerism/materialism, naturalism, and individualism. Consumerism is a rather obvious idol just by looking around us and seeing how we are caught up in buying things that we don’t really need, trying to fit in or satisfy our inner cravings. For me, the individualism chapter struck home.

I am very much an introvert. An introvert gains energy from time alone, while being around people is more draining. So being part of a community, developing relationships, can be difficult for me as I often would prefer to spend that time alone. The attitude of “I don’t need anyone” can pop up in my life. But Scripture calls us to be part of a community with other believers.

Hebrews 10:24-25: Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together…” 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion…”

So this is a struggle for me. Balancing the time I need alone to be refreshed and re-energized with the time needed with other people to be challenged and edified. Our online social media society that we now live in makes this even more of a challenge as it is easy to just spend time online interacting with people and consider that “community”. But nothing takes the place of actually spending time with other people face-to-face, encouraging and challenging one another in our spiritual growth.

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