How to Overcome Loneliness
All alone in a crowded room. How can this be? I'd like to attempt to answer this question with my notes from Sunday's sermon and from a book I've been reading titled For the Love by Jen Hatmaker.
I jotted down a few reasons we might feel lonely even among people we know. Let's take a look at these crazy concoctions we allow to consume us and what the remedy for them is.
Four lies about loneliness and four truths to overcome loneliness.
Lie #1 about loneliness:
Assuming no one likes us.
Truth #1 about loneliness:
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Allow God's word to fill your mind and heart. Let his word transform your thinking.
Lie #2 about loneliness:
We're workaholics so we can't see people for the driving focus on getting the job done.
Truth #2 about loneliness:
“Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5
Acknowledge the reality of loneliness. Admit it and be real with God and yourself.
Lie #3 about loneliness:
We are actively avoiding relationships for fear of hurt and rejection.
Truth #3 about loneliness:
“The Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9
Accept God's provision for your loneliness. God is always there. He is always faithful even in your loneliness.
Lie #4 about loneliness:
Sporting a false mask pretending to be someone likable.
Truth #4 about loneliness:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Activate your network of Christian friends. We're surrounded by people everywhere. No, not everyone is friendship material or a good match, but I'm confident there are friends for each of us...we just need to take that risk.
Listen, we need each other. I know we're deceivingly more "social" than ever before. But I also believe we're much more lonely and shallow in our relationships than ever before.
In the book I mentioned earlier, Jen Hatmaker talks about "Supper Clubs." What she describes is very similar sounding to Connection Groups or Small Groups. Yet, so much more. These people do life together. Actually do life together. They know what's going on in one another's lives. They pray together. Cry together. Mourn together. Laugh together. Grow together. Serve together. Rest together. And yes, eat together. They know the struggles one another has. They can be ridiculously real in all of its rawness. Why are we so afraid of being real with one another? Why are we good with our "Facebook relationships."
“Trust in the Lord...delight in the Lord who will give you your heart's desire...commit your way to the Lord...be still before the Lord; wait for Him.” Psalm 37:1-7