By David Coy

Is there any detriment to being isolated by others in a person’s youth? I know of at least one example that it can be. If a youth seeks friendship with peers in their circle of associations but is spurned by them, is there any danger of negative repercussions? This is the finding of The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: “Peers play a large role in the social and emotional development of children and adolescents. Their influence begins at an early age and increases through the teenage years. It is natural, healthy and important for children to have and rely on friends as they grow and mature.” Naturally, young people want to feel accepted and that they belong. When they experience rejection, then they will naturally seek acceptance and a feeling of belonging somewhere else, and if those associations are not positive, moral and healthy then there will be negative consequences including the possibility of illegal involvement.
People possessing moral values identifying themselves as Christian, for example, should never reject the fellowship, and/or friendship of other people with the same values, yet it sadly does happen. Proverbs 18:1 says, “One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires; he rejects all sound judgment.” Also, Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated…” This would also apply to negative influences. As fellow human beings, we should seek the welfare of others in addition to our own. Philippians 2:4 reminds us, “Let each of you look not only to his own, but each of you also to others” (be concerned about others).