"Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT)
Whether we like it or not, we are relational beings. Without getting too theological, we have been made in the triune image (God in three distinct persons in a perfect love relationship with one-another) of God. We were created from a love relationship (Father, Son & Holy Spirit). Note: kind of how we were created from a love relationship from our Mom and Dad - too much... Lol). Because of this, relationships were meant to influence and define us. The ultimate relationship that should shape and define us is our relationship with God, but this is not always the case.
For whatever reasons, we allow other, and sometimes unhealthy relationships, to influence and define us. This will always (in time) cause hurt and confusion. It leaves us feeling empty and without true meaning. We lose our true selves - the selves God created us to be.
When we become wounded through these relationships, or simply by relating with people (interactions), it takes having relationships with others to heal and grow. Because hurt usually comes from people, overcoming hurt usually comes from the help of other people.
So the Apostle Paul, writing to a young pastor named Timothy, tells him to run from youthful lusts and wrong passions. He doesn't tell him to do this alone, but informs him that pursuing faith, love, and peace with others who love Jesus ("companionship"), will be what helps him overcome the temptation and trouble of this life.
Paul knew that living in this world, as a Jesus follower who overcomes its fallenness, can only be done "together." You and I were made in the relational image of God, and living in this world for God can only be done well in relationship with Him and with His children.
Our hurt can only be healed and transformation can only happen, when we gather with other believers regularly and often. As Hebrews 10:25 states, "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."
Lord Jesus, forgive me when I have tried to do life on my own. Forgive me when I believed the lie that You and me, without fellowship with other believers was enough to live according to Your will. Thank you for Your presence in my life and the presence of other believers. Remind me of the importance of hanging with other Followers often. Amen!