Throughout my life, I have had the privilege of meeting many amazing, passionate, and inspiring people. I thank God time and time again for giving me the privilege to know them and share life with them.
Yet, Satan can still cause me to feel lonely, even despite the fact that I have many friends around me. When I am alone, Satan easily feeds me lies, that friends whom I trusted don’t actually love me, or that no one would want to listen to my struggles, etc. These lies have no concrete basis. And these lies plant small seeds of bitterness and resentment against my fellow brothers and sisters who may have not done anything wrong.
We may think of loneliness as a painful and difficult place to be in, which, it is. Yet loneliness is also dangerous and destructive.
Loneliness Breaks Down the Body of Christ
Loneliness is essentially the feeling of being alone. This is actually strategic for Satan because when we are united as a body of Christ, we are a powerful force. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) Loneliness causes us to believe lies about our brothers and sisters, which in turn causes us to distrust them, become more unwilling to be vulnerable with them, brings about resentment against them, etc. All of these things prevent us from sharing in deep fellowship with them and breaks down the unity that we have.
Loneliness Feeds Our Pride
When we feel lonely, all we think about is me, me, me. Why isn’t that person showing love to me? No one cares about me. And we tend have this conception of friendship that says, This person must give me love, attention, and interest, and then I will start to or continue to give that person love, attention and interest. So when people do not show any love to us, we are hesitant to take the initiative in expressing it, or to continue to express it to them. Yet Jesus modeled for us a completely different way of thinking.
Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus was the holiest, most perfect person to ever live; He is the almighty God of heaven and earth, who reigns with millions and millions of angels worshiping Him at His throne. If anyone, He deserves to be the most loved, and to receive the most attention. But He didn’t come to this world to receive adoration and attention, nor did He ask for it from the people around Him. He came to serve.
Loneliness Leads Us to Think that God’s Love Is Not Enough
God loves us completely, with a perfect, infinite, immeasurable love. We can’t ever be loved more or less than we are already loved. Let me try to put that into a picture. Imagine your heart. It’s empty, craving to be filled with love. When God’s love is poured into it, your heart is not only full – it’s overflowing, shooting out like a fountain, creating streams and rivers and oceans. Even if you tried to add to it, the addition wouldn’t make a difference because the heart is already overflowing. That’s how great the amount of God’s love is, and that’s how completely He loves us.
If we ever feel lonely, however, we are subconsciously stating that the love that God has for us is not enough. It’s saying that we still need more love, from people, to be completely satisfied. But in actuality, the love that we receive from people can never completely fulfill that craving, because we desire perfect love – and not one person on earth is able to give that to us.
Lamentations 3:22-24 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” Is the Lord my portion? Am I receiving my portion of His unending love by spending time with the Lord day by day? If the Lord is not my portion, if I am not being filled with His love for me, then I will inevitably look for that portion elsewhere – often, in receiving love from people, a portion that will never satisfy.
What We Need To Do
I don’t write all of this as if I had already conquered this struggle and will never feel lonely again. Loneliness comes and goes often in my life, and I’m sure that it does in your life too. But whenever we feel lonely, let us no longer fill our craving for love by seeking it from people. Instead, let’s go to God – He is the only one who can fill our craving completely. As we spend time with Him, His love will surely, deeply satisfy us.
“Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” (Psalm 107:8-9)
What are some thoughts you have on loneliness, and how do you get past it?