Should sociability be encouraged?

Bible Answer

Ps. 133:1 "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

John 13:35 "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Philippians 2:2-4 "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

1 Peter 3:8 "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:"

Inspired Answer

"In our intercourse as Christians, we lose much by lack of sympathy one with another, by a want of sociability. He who talks of independence, and shuts himself up to himself, is not filling the position that God designed he should. We are all children of God, mutually dependent upon one another for happiness. The claims of God and of humanity are upon us. It is the proper cultivation of the social elements of our nature that brings us in sympathy with our brethren, and affords us happiness in our efforts to bless others. The happiness of Heaven is in the pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels, and with the redeemed who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. We cannot be happy while we are wrapped up in our interest for ourselves. We should live in this world to win souls to the Saviour. If we injure others, we injure ourselves also. If we bless others, we bless ourselves; for the influence of every good deed is reflected back upon our own hearts. {RH October 10, 1882, par. 14}

"It is God’s purpose that His children should not stand isolated from one another, but that they should relate themselves one to another to mutually influence each other. They should realize that it is their duty to promote the happiness one of another. If we will be learners, Christ will be our Teacher. He will train us to make manifest His goodness, mercy, and love. Every soul who will become consecrated to Him will be a channel through whom His love can flow, will be an agent co-operating with divine intelligences, and will find his own happiness increased as he seeks to impart happiness to others. Each one of us is to consider the fact that every uttered word exerts an influence, that every action involves a train of responsibility. Connected with God, it is in our power to transmit a current of vital influence. No one can live unto himself in this world, even if he would. Each one forms a part of the great world of humanity, and through our individual influence we are linked to the universe." {Ms38-1895.9}

Further Thoughts

Coming closer to other members is a wonderful and necessary part of a strong congregation. However, because spiritual closeness brings its own form of intimacy, there must be safeguards to make sure no mischief results. Accordingly, men praying with men and women with women, where possible, for example, is always encouraged.