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Thoughts On Loneliness

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  1. David on June 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    It’s very easy for someone living on their own to get set in their ways, and then to get cross when their routine is disturbed. Visitors are discouraged, tending not to return, so the walls of isolation creep higher while the pretended “happiness” of being alone actually grows darker and more bitter.

    And yet some people seem to be truly content although “unattached”. How can someone on their own (and apparently happily so) be viewed by others? Reserved? Selfish? Unsociable? Loner?

    Should those who need to be (and at present are) happily surrounded by a crowd feel sorry for those apparently “left out”? Should they smother them with well-intended invitations? Or neglect them, unsure of what to say? Or avoid them, and the issue, altogether?

    Or (in a right way) should they feel envious?

    In one sense, no. The Lord made us to be sociable, and He has put us in families – at home and/or at church. There are many blessings built in to the whole idea of “community”, and love demands others with whom it may be shared. Mutual encouragement, support, accountability, and exhortation come from the many “one another” verses of Scripture; there is danger from roaring lions and whispering serpents when one is much alone. Company is a blessing and a protection.

    But company – or rather the inability to live without company – can be a great danger; for it deliberately and subtly stops us getting still and quiet before the Lord on our own. Indeed (without going into detail) isn’t part of what Paul is saying in I Corinthians 7 that to be on your own can be a great blessing? Is it not possible to be alone for a season and content, because to not have human distraction gives more opportunity for fellowship with the One Who will never leave us? Indeed, cannot that very contentment with the sovereign provision or with-holding or removal of relationships be an opening (just sometimes) for witness?

    Loneliness is, in essence, sinful – because it is complaining against God. Loneliness is a bitter root that can breed anger, resentment, desperation and despair. Loneliness has a twin called self-pity, and both are destructive.

    On the other hand, contented “aloneness” – or acceptance of whatever relationships our heavenly Father gives for these few brief years – is a blessing; for He has said “I will never leave you or forsake you”.

    • jefflyle on June 15, 2011 at 6:34 am

      Spot on, David. I’ve known those who have the rare ability to live in aloneness without falling prey to loneliness. Contentment in Christ is our high call and, when we have received that, it is reasonable to expect contentment in “whatsoever state I am in”. Thanks for sharing at length – i hope others will follow suit.


  2. glen on June 14, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Amen. Often in my prayers, I thank God for letting me curl up in His lap and have His arms around me. There is an undeniable warmth that surrounds me. Kind of like I am a child of God! woohoo!!!!