LONELINESS

 

DEFINITION:  Loneliness is  a sense of separation from people, often accompanied by isolation, depression, and feelings of rejection and self-pity.  It is a lack of meaningful relationships with others.

FACTS ABOUT LONELINESS:

Loneliness is not the same as being alone.  A person can be alone, and yet not be lonely.  Conversely, one can be with many people and still feel lonely.

God never intended for you to live disconnected from others.  One of the first things God did was establish a relationship with Adam and then provide him with a wife.  God said it was not good to live in isolation (Genesis 2:18).  God’s plan was for you to have a meaningful relationship with Him and others.

Alienation was a result of the fall.  When Adam and Eve sinned, they were alienated from God and began having problems in their relationship–blaming one another.  All broken  relationships are rooted in sin.

Intimacy with God is necessary in order to develop proper relationships with others.  You will never be able to develop positive horizontal relationships with others until your vertical relationship with God is right.  The only time Jesus expressed loneliness was when He was on the cross, alienated from the Father because He was bearing the sins of the world (Matthew 27:46).

Loneliness can be self-inflicted.  If you do not try to make friends, you won’t have any:

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly…”(Proverbs 18:24) .

You are never really alone.  Jesus promised to be with you always and He sent the Holy Spirit to be with you and dwell within you (John 14:17).

DEALING WITH  LONELINESS:

Determine the cause for your loneliness.  Deal with the root cause.  Are you isolating yourself from others?  Do you harbor unforgiveness?  Are you staying too busy and disconnected from people?  Have difficult circumstances–such as a tragedy or death–caused you to withdraw from others?  Are you depressed?

Pray about your loneliness.  Bind the spirits of isolation and self-pity that develop through loneliness. Release the comfort of the Holy Spirit who lives within you to operate in your life.

Restore broken relationships.  If your loneliness is because of alienation from someone, seek to restore the relationship through forgiving and seeking forgiveness.

Develop godly friendships.  Foster positive relationships with other believers.  Do not be unevenly yoked in a friendship with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Get involved with the Body of Christ.  Join a church, attend a Bible study, or become part of a prayer group.  Many friendships are formed through association with others in the Church.  Start a special interest group in your church and recruit others who enjoy doing what you like to do.

Serve others.   Squash self-pity and isolation by serving others. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or a food kitchen. Visit the elderly and shut-ins.  Tutor a child.  Volunteer for missions, prison ministry, or for service in your church.  The opportunities are endless, and as you put yourself out there to serve, you will develop positive relationships with others.

Learn how to be a true friend.  The biblical emphasis on relationships is evident when we note the number of times the words “one another” occurs, particularly in Paul’s letters.  We are commanded to:

-love one another: John 13:35

-be devoted to one another: Romans 12:10

-honor one another: Romans 12:10

-live in harmony with one another: Romans 12:16

-comfort one another: 1 Thessalonians 4:18

-encourage one another: Hebrews 3:13

-stir up one another to love and good works: Hebrews 10:24

-show hospitality to one another: 1 Peter 4:9

-employ the gifts of God for the benefit of one another: 1 Peter 4:10

-clothe yourself with humility towards one another: 1 Peter 5:5

-pray for one another: James 5:16

-confess your faults to one another; James 5:16

-speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs: Ephesians 5:19

-submit to one another: Ephesians 5:21, 1 Peter 5:5

-consider others better than yourself: Philippians 2:3

-be concerned about the interests of others: Philippians 2:4

-bear with one another: Colossians 3:13

-teach one another: Colossians 3:16

-build up one another: Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11

-be likeminded towards one another: Romans 15:5

-accept one another unconditionally: Romans 15:7

-admonish one another:  Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16

-care for one another: 1 Corinthians 12:25

-serve one another: Galatians 5:13

-bear one another’s burdens: Galatians 6:2

-forgive one another: Ephesians 4:2, 32; Colossians 3:13

-be patient with one another: Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13

-be kind and compassionate to one another: Ephesians 4:32

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT LONELINESS:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. (Psalm 27:10)

A man who has friends must himself be friendly… (Proverbs 18:24) .

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10)

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  (John 14:16-18)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Romans 8:35)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39)

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”   (Hebrews 13:5)

See also Psalm 139.  You were never alone–not even in your mother’s womb!

(See also “Friendship” in this database.)

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