The second form of isolation that undermines community is individual isolation; the cloistered person. Now some people are naturally shy or quiet and therefore find it easy or “natural” to withdraw from the group. What’s needed, however, is the “supernatural” work of the Spirit. Self-denial and following Christ requires us to set aside some of our “natural tendencies,” and put others first. We have an individual obligation and duty to love and serve others. As Hebrews 10:24-25 exhorts: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
It’s even possible to be “present” with the Body but “absent” in spirit; present but not participating. We can sit and wait for others to move or else we can seek opportunities to minister to the community. Real humility puts others first; false humility is full of self-pity and loves being a martyr; poor me. Some cloister themselves for fear of being known, which can be risky. Yet, until we are known by others we cannot grow; we’re protecting or hiding the very areas where we need to be matured in Christ. Others cloister themselves because they really don’t want to know others. If we don’t know them then we feel free to ignore them and we have no sense of obligation to minister to them. All of this destroys community; a community that God says we need if we are to grow in grace.