When people are lonely it’s a painful time. They have painful memories and fell depress. This is an awful feeling. In 2 Timothy 4:6-21, we have an example of Paul and how he overcame loneliness.
Paul was at the end of his life. 2 Timothy is the last book Paul wrote. Chapter 4 is the last words that Paul ever wrote. He was an old man, in prison in Rome. He was waiting to be executed by Nero.
All of his friends had left him and Paul was a very lonely man. In the story, we see four common causes of loneliness. A lot of times, we bring loneliness upon ourselves. But it’s the uncontrollable kind that we’re looking at.
The first part of this article discusses the four common causes of loneliness: transition, separation, opposition and rejection. The second part, discusses on how to deal with loneliness.
Jesus understood every human emotion. There were times when Jesus was lonely. Even in the closing moments of His Jesus’ life, when He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, knowing that the next day He would be crucified on the cross, He takes His three best friends.
Even Jesus had a need for human relationship. He takes His three friends – Peter, James, John – and says, “Stay with me a while, while I sweet this thing out!” And they fell asleep on Jesus. Jesus comes back and says, “Can you not wait with Me for an hour?” And Jesus felt all alone. The next day Jesus was nailed on the cross. He cried out, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?
Jesus was carrying the sins of the world including your sins and my sins. Jesus was alone. You think Jesus doesn’t understand loneliness? He does! He says, “I care about you. I want to relieve that loneliness. I want to help you out.”
Can you be beautiful and lonely? Of course! Ask a lot of models. Can you be famous, wealthy – popular and lonely? Sure! Michael Jackson was lonely. According to newspaper reports, Sharon Cuneta, a popular Filipina actress, singer and also wealthy is lonely. She went to the United States by herself to break the monotony of life.
Can you be successful and lonely? Sure. There’s an old saying, “It’s lonely at the top.” Can you be married and lonely? Yes! Many people marry out of loneliness and divorce two or three years later, for the same reason – loneliness. They never had any intimacy, any closeness.
How do you deal with loneliness? Again, as discussed in the earlier article: utilize your time, minimize the hurt, recognize God’s presence, and emphasize others’ needs. Normally, we do the wrong things. People will try all kinds of things to overcome their loneliness. Some people will try being a workaholic. They think if they stay busy they’ll overcome their loneliness.
They’ll work and then go to bed late at night totally fatigued. They get up in the morning and they’re still lonely. Some people think they’ll cure their loneliness through materialism by buying expensive things and beautiful home. But money can only buy pleasure, but it cannot buy happiness. Money does not last.
I could put you in a beautiful island and tell you that you could have every single thing that you want – anything – except people. How long would you be happy? Not very long! Why do you think solitary confinement is the most devastating form of punishment? Because, we were created for each other. Some people will try to overcome their loneliness by having an affair (engage in adultery).
Some people get drunk, take drugs, go to bars. Some people do nothing. They just sit around and say, “Poor me!” Loneliness will paralyze you if you let it. What is it that is causing loneliness in your life? Maybe it’s a transition.
You have been going through so much change in the last few weeks or months or years – a new job, a new location, a new family, something causing the loneliness. Maybe it is separation or divorce. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Maybe it’s opposition. You say, “Everybody’s against me. At work they’re stabbing me in the back. Everybody’s conspiring against me.” Maybe it’s rejection. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
A lot of our loneliness is really a spiritual vacuum. We have a vacuum or emptiness in our lives and when we try to fill it with anything else, beside God, It does not work. The vacuum or emptiness does not go away.
But when you invite Christ in your life and ask His Spirit to fill you, He puts His presence that will never, never leave you, for as long as you need Him. For God does not abandon us, but we abandon Him.
Some of you reading this article are thinking. “No body loves me. Nobody cares for me. Nobody even knows I exist.” I know somebody who does love and care for you. His name is Jesus Christ.!
A man, named, Ben Ferguson, says, many Christians suffer with loneliness because they’re sitting instead of serving. Meaning, many Christian just come to church once a week, they just set listening sermons and go home not serving in church ministry.
That is why if you are a member of a church, it is essential for you to be a member of a ministry (service) and be active in that ministry. When you do that it can help overcome your loneliness, for you are serving God.
There are so many lonely people who need your care. That elderly person in the nursing home, a widow who just buried her husband, and young orphan children who live in poverty.
If you decided to spend the rest of your life being a friend to people, you would make and invaluable investment of your life. Begin a ministry of friendship. Share Jesus with others.
Invite somebody to your home, invite somebody to your church. Offer a listening ear. Don’t build walls. Build bridges. Build bridges to other people.
On the next issue, “Developing Better Relationships Part -I”
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(Adam Aspilla is an Executive Director of Word Became Flesh Ministries a non-denominational Christian organization at 1180 Unit 1 Mid-way Blvd. Mississauga. Visit www.wbfmfamily.com. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from University of the East, Manila Philippines, studied law in the same university, and has a Master of Divinity (MDiv.) from Tyndale University & Seminary, in Toronto, Canada. He also operates the Debt Clinic of Canada Inc., and author of the books: “You Can Negotiate All Your Debts” and “51 Frequently Asked Bible Questions.” He also writes a column on “Personal Finance” in this paper. Email: email@example.com : phone: 905-306-7572)