Proverbs 18:1-2 (NKJV), A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment. A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.
Isolationism is what is spoken of here in these verses, a sense of doing something "my way" even when it goes against godly wisdom. They speak of a person who chooses to separate him/herself from the godly wisdom of others.
This is not commending those who simply blend in with the crowd for the sake of “traditionalism,” but rather it is commending truly wise and biblical judgment or discernment, which should be attractive to any person who claims to know God.
It is only pride that leads a person to isolate him/herself from such wisdom, discernment and judgment. Such a person only desires to demonstrate his/her own supposed wisdom, which is based on selfish desire, rather than divine revelation.
Verse two furthers the discussion with the notion that this kind of person is a fool who has no delight in understanding or following God’s ways. He/she is too enamored with his/her own heart’s desire and opinion.
To possess a personal opinion is not wrong; to persist in an ungodly personal opinion is foolishness. To proclaim such an opinion as being superior to God's is dangerous.
People of all ages fall prey to such folly. For instance, young people believe their opinion of how life should work is better than the opinion that is found in God’s Word. This produces family strife, tension, and division between them and their parents.
A spouse believes his/her opinion of how a marriage ought to work is better than God’s truth. This produces marital heartache, tremendous difficulty, separation, family tension, and potentially divorce.
A church member believes that his/her opinion of how church ought to work is better than God’s ways. This produces a discontented spirit, difficulties with the pastor, and even division within the church.
Children, teenagers, and adults alike fall prey to such foolishness. But if/when our opinion does not mesh with the teachings of God’s Word, we are the ones who must change. Our foolish pride will produce tremendous problems; God's wisdom will produce harmony and peace - in a person's heart, in families, and in churches.
A person’s greatest need is not “self-discovery,” “self-expression,” or a greater “self-image.” It is to recognize the selfishness that is bound up in his/her heart, to submit to the eternal and infinitely wise judgments of God, to yield the heart in humble worship to Him who alone is truly wise, and to repent of foolish and isolationist ways.
God’s Word is always right; God’s ways are always best; God’s wisdom is always superior.
So, we cannot isolate ourselves from the wisdom of God as it is publicly proclaimed in a Bible-believing local church because we think we can do without it. We need the local church. There are no healthy Christians who isolate themselves from a biblically-grounded local church.
Nor can we isolate ourselves from the truth of God’s Word, believing that we can do life just fine without it. We need the Word of God. No Christian can grow in sanctification apart from the regular intake and submission to the Bible.
We desperately need the correction of God’s Word to root out the folly of our own sinful opinions and to renew our minds to think God’s thoughts after Him.
Find a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church. Attend it faithfully; serve in it joyfully; yield to the biblical teaching willingly; grow in it daily. All for the glory of God!