Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Dr. Stephen Phinney
Loneliness tends to be the greatest ‘curse’ known to humanity. People tend to fill this dark place with an endless list of psychobabble ideations.
Loneliness is the state of distress or discomfort that results from perceiving a gap between one’s desires to be connected to the ones we love and actually experiencing the joy of connecting. Though our need to connect is innate, built into us through God’s creative expression, many of us frequently feel alone. In most cases, lonely people often experience this ideation when surrounded by others throughout the day. They seem to be overwhelmed by this feeling even when others are loving on them. They maintain deep and pervasive loneliness even when reality says they are not alone. Research suggests that loneliness is at the base of long-term physical health.
Did you know that leaders are at the top of the list of the most lonely people?
I have studied the life of every President of the United States – in detail. One of the most common warnings from one President to the other is, “The White House is the loneliest place on earth.” Furthermore, many of those Presidents died toward the end of their term of office or died shortly afterward. In fact, loneliness is the leading cause of death to humanity.
Why is it that friends and family surround a lonely person and still suffer this horrid reality? The answer is obvious; the masses miss the innate design of humanity.
Whether a person lives in isolation or not, feeling a lack of connection to the One who created them can be painful and can often result in death. Loneliness can be described in different ways; a commonly used measure of loneliness, our research concludes, the individual has deficits of connecting to the Holy that created them:
Feeling a lack of connection between humanity & their creator.
Feeling a disconnect between themselves & the supposed reality of Christ living within them through the Holy Spirit.
Feeling removed from the Truth of the Word of God & that of experience.
Feeling a disconnect with those who seem to live out the Word.
Feeling guilt and condemnation for not being able to appropriate what the Word says regarding “you are never alone.”
There is a major difference between “believers” having a relationship with the knowledge of Jesus vs. the Life of Jesus from within. Given the potential risks & consequences for those who feel like “God does not care,” each tends to blame these feelings on the external world – that of no supportive social connections or the ideation that people don’t care – while not realizing that God uses loneliness to draw a people into a dynamic, interpersonal relationship with God through the indwelling Life of Jesus Christ. Truth, this underscores the demand for increased outreach and teachings of the authentic Gospel of Christ in you.
God wants people to feel alone!
Loneliness has benefits. Consider God removing loneliness without accomplishing the mission of why He allows it. If God removed loneliness before loneliness hits its target, He would be advancing idolatry. God, the Life of Jesus, or the Holy Spirit would be invalidating His purpose of feeling alone if the Trinity decided to heal the person before they found the eternal importance of Life from within. It would mute the ultimate mission of evangelism while shifting the human to finding relief through external resources – as in drugs or pop psychology.
Loneliness is tied to the quality of one's interpersonal relationship with Christ from within to the connections one has WITH the Body of Christ. When we apply pressure for humans to meet this God-given need, it shifts humans to find life, joy, and fulfillment in the things that rise against the madness method of life is derived from external resources. A lack of authenticity in Christ can result in feelings of loneliness. For some, not having a coveted relationship with Jesus from the inside out or the absence of the quiet presence of God can trigger overwhelming artificial loneliness. And it not only stems from heartache or isolation from the two venues God uses to remove this misplaced “feeling” based misnomer – it forms idolatry.
Fact. Lonely people pick up on signs of potential rejection more quickly than most. They are hypersensitive to rejection – resulting in self-protection, which is, of course, isolating themselves from the rejecter. Thus, when this ideation shifts from individuals to that of protecting oneself before rejection ensues, chronic loneliness sets in. There's evidence that lonely individuals have a sort of idolatry bias in a selfish evaluation of the number of self-fulfillment connections & interactions. People who feel lonely need to be aware of this bias to override it in seeking out companionship in Christ as the priority. If not authentically saved, the journey begins there.
Solitude, or time spent alone, is not inherently negative; in fact, it is needed. The Lord Himself often took off to the mountains to be alone with His Father. The key? It was to be with His Father. When people vacate to a lonely quiet spot to reflect on themselves, they renew their self-focus. However, this misplaced objective ultimately will produce more loneliness AND isolation of the soul. Isolating oneself is different than feeling alone in isolation. This gap is that mastitis cancer that is behind chronic feelings of loneliness.
Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding loneliness:
Loneliness has benefits.
God uses loneliness to draw humanity unto Himself.
If you’re lonely, look to the “who” is your god.
If not authentically saved and filled with the Holy Spirit – examine yourself to see if you house the Holy Spirit from within.
Be thankful for the God-ordained reason for loneliness.
Make use of this lonely place to form an intimate relationship with Christ.
Stop pressuring humanity to meet your needs.
Allow Christ to fulfill your every need – as well as define your needs.
Don’t study the Word of God; allow the voice of Christ to speak to you through His written Word, always remembering He is the Word AND He lives in you. And if that is the case, the Word lives within you. That is, if He authentically lives in you via the Holy Spirit.
No matter how alone you might be OR feel, God is interested in fulfilling that need. However, He will only accomplish this fulfillment in Christ alone. The love of Jesus Christ is the only eternal practical God offers to humanity. When “believers” focus on fake love from humans, they get fake support. Those who focus upon the authentic Love of God, well, they get an authentic relationship. Remember, loneliness flees when the intimacy of a relationship is formed by Christ first and the Body of Christ second. Finally, our enemy uses loneliness to end the lives of those God loves. After all, suicide is the ideation of chronic loneliness.
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