Proverbs 18:1 reads, “whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Bruce Waltke in his commentary on Proverbs says this, “the fool alienates himself from society by his self-indulgent pursuit and bares his teeth against the sage’s proficient thinking.” The person who isolates himself can also be translated antisocial or unfriendly. Here are some truths we can glean from this one simple verse:
- A person who isolates himself from community is self-centered as they do not want to hear what other people have to say, in particular the wise.
- This person is also understood to be unreasonable as they “break out” against all sound judgment. This phrase “break out” literally means to “snarl” or “show teeth.” Hence, this person is not only not interested in listening but is combative towards those that share wisdom or sound judgment.
- The Bible speaks to us engaging with community, rather than disengaging from it. If you ever find yourself or anyone else for that matter, disengaging from community red flags should immediately go up.
This verse is a good reminder to not isolate myself from God’s people. It is also a good reminder to understand that one indispensable way in which I am to become more wise is through the exhortation and admonition of God’s people, which takes place in community not in isolationism.