In society, we are bombarded by media as well as social media. We live in a world that’s more connected than ever. Yet so many people are lonelier than ever. This is especially true for people within the church.
Although we may feel like we’re really connected to people, the reality is we have people in our lives that know the least about us. We go to church on Sunday, grab a cup of coffee, worship the Lord, and then leave without anyone even saying hello or wanting to know more about us.
This contributes to a superficial level of communication that we think solves the problem of loneliness. Not only that, but people often don’t want to talk about loneliness as Christians because they feel if they do, they’re not connected to God, or they’ll be judged in some way.
We all experience loneliness from time to time. Jesus himself went to lonely places to pray. Loneliness can be a good thing if we take the time to be alone to examine our thoughts and analyze behaviors.
However, people often put on a fake smile when in church or at work. It’s difficult to tell people that we’re lonely. Here are some reasons why people don’t like to talk about loneliness.
1. We Believe Something Is Wrong with Us
As a pastor’s wife, I often get ostracized in my local church. It is difficult for me to achieve intimacy with people in the congregation.
Because people think they can’t be real in front of me because I might tell my husband what we discuss, it only increases the amount of loneliness and the desperate need for affection in the community.
You may feel because you don’t have friends or connect with people often, people will think and believe there’s something wrong with you. God created community for a reason.
Communities afford us fellowship with one another. You can’t have community without isolation. Yet it is important for us to be alone so God can speak to us.
2. We Don’t Want Pity
Once we start talking about how lonely we are to others, people feel like they must meet up with us out of guilt.
People don’t want to feel lonely because they feel like they’re being punished or their personality is too hard to deal with. Yet God created us all individually with a purpose and a plan.
God speaks through prophetic visions and dreams, but if we’re not alone long enough to hear from him, we can’t achieve deeper intimacy with God.
People often want to avoid loneliness by turning on a television or music just to take away the fact that they have no one around them.
Loneliness can come in a couple of forms: we can feel lonely because no one knows us, or we feel lonely even with a crowd of people around us. Either way, you can use that loneliness to your advantage and take time to be with God.
3. We Don’t Want to Be Vulnerable
People don’t like to talk about loneliness because they must deal with issues buried deep in the soul. People don’t like talking about loneliness because it seems like a bad thing. But loneliness isn’t always bad. Here are some ways loneliness is a good thing.
First, it gives us a deeper relationship with the Savior. Although God can speak in any capacity he wishes, it is more difficult when we are surrounded by other technologies that don’t allow the Lord to speak.
By being alone, I can read the Word in more depth and ask God to share his deep thoughts with me. But I can’t do that if I’m with people constantly.
Second, it allows me to pray. Scripture says we should “pray without ceasing.” This means praying continuously throughout the day. But this is hard to accomplish at work or at home with their families.
If Jesus found it appropriate to get up early, go to lonely places, and pray, then we should too. We should begin every day with this time of silence and aloneness, ready to hear from God and pray we give over to him every need and desire we have.
Third, when we are lonely, it gives us an opportunity to commune with God through his Word. When we are lonely, the first thing we should grab is the Bible. If we grab for other things, such as music, television, or food or drink, we need to analyze why we’re doing it.
Loneliness is there for a reason. We need to make new friends and commune with people whom we trust. The lonelier we are, the more untrusting we become. We become untrustworthy individuals when we are alone for long periods of time.
When we’re going about our day, it is easy to think we don’t need anyone. This creates independence when we should be in community. Analyze your church and see if there are people who are in similar situations, backgrounds, or ages as you.
Strive to increase your fellowship this year by participating in events or simply exercise your gift to hospitality by having people over your home. Some of the best moments I’ve communed with God were not in the Sunday church service but rather having people over at my home.
The ability to become vulnerable eradicates superficiality when we are at home. This will help you not feel lonely but realize that people accept you as you are.
4. We Fear Rejection
Loneliness can make us feel rejected and unaccepted. Some of people’s deepest needs of acceptance and approval from others. Although we are to run to God with our needs, fellowship does have its place.
When we are being encouraged by our local church brothers and sisters, we get rid of loneliness and embrace community. As you meet with people regularly, you will find any critical spirit you may have made all but dissipate.
Loneliness can be difficult at times. But there’s hope. By sharing fellowship with people and engaging in real fellowship, you will experience acceptance and approval like never before. We all need people to hold their hands up when we are struggling.
That is part of the whole community in your life. When we are absent from that community, we experience loneliness. Holiness is also a lure for the enemy to speak lies into our lives. If gone unchecked, those lies can become what we believe.
When we exchange the Word of God for a lie, we don’t experience an interdependent life in Christ. If we can learn to be in fellowship and accept people as they are, we can speak into their lives when they’re struggling.
We were never meant to do life on our own. Throughout Scripture, we see disciples going out two by two. Adam had Eve and there are many other examples of people who were never alone on their journey. Above all, you know that God has not left you. He’s there more than you realize.
Loneliness can be the catalyst for us to experience true community as we become more vulnerable and allow others to accept us as we are. When we do, we experience an intimate relationship with God like never before.
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Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor’s wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.