The concept of separation can have either a negative or a positive connotation. If separation is perceived as being deprived of something desirable then it would be considered negative. If it was perceived as isolated so that it caused the individual to be ineffective disallowing a purpose for life then it would be thought as detrimental to the person’s well-being. On the other hand, if separation is perceived as allowing the individual to be a part of an elite group so that their focus is not obscured or their efforts diverted then it would have a positive connotation. When we consider separation coupled with holy living it can take on either a negative or a positive connotation. What is the reason a person is separated in the holy life? Are we to isolate ourselves from the world like a monk in a monastery? Do we separate ourselves so that we can keep aloof from those who do not meet our standard of dress or behavior? Do we separate ourselves because we think that we might be polluted by any association with those who are not holy? Do we separate ourselves because we are secretly afraid that we are inadequate to cope with the questions that the sinner might ask about our beliefs or lifestyle? Do we separate ourselves from the world because we don’t really want to be bothered by anyone who doesn’t agree with the life that we live? What is our motive for living the separated life? Is it possible to obey the scriptural directions carefully about the separated life in such a way that we are wrong?
by Dr. Gayle Woods