The Giant Called Loneliness
The need to connect with others is at the basis of our creation. Yes. God created us with a need to be interdepend on one another in Christ Jesus.
STEPHEN PHINNEY | IOM CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR
Without active enteraction with the Body of Christ, we frequently believe we are alone and begin to question the One who created us.
Fact. Anytime humanity believes they’re alone, they classically blame God first. This might reveal the “why” God allows it.
Loneliness is birthed in the mind, our belief system. It often confesses a state of distress or discomfort that results when the mind perceives a gap between the person’s standard of acceptance and that of the actual social connection present. When this happens, individuals validate their distorted views based on their own standards. In other words, loneliness is a self-induced experience.
Proof of this is that most lonely people can be surrounded by others but still experience a deep and pervasive self-belief of loneliness. Since the physiology of humanity is obedient to the mind, unfortunately, this self-standard can morph into deteriorating physical health.
It doesn’t matter if the person lives in isolation; the result is murderous ideations – as in suicide and, at times, homicide. Those who suffer long-term loneliness frequently find pleasure in seeing others suffer. It gives them a visual sense of NOT being alone.
The foundational belief behind lonely people is an overwhelming sense of being left out, for example. Spoiled children in their early years become accustomed to excessive attention. When they grow up, they slip into compulsive loneliness and realize the real world does not pamper their every thought. The connection between spoiled children and adult loneliness is acute. Although, there is one more primary reason for adult loneliness. The connection between abuse and protection.
When children or adults are abused, their minds create a “hiding place” within the recesses of their minds. If habitually visited, they develop a belief that claims they are the only person that can be trusted. When they “come out to play” AND get rejected, their “hiding place” becomes the safest place on earth. They develop a “love/hate” bond with their “hiding place.” This produces a “love affair” of sorts with themselves. They unconsciously set themselves up for isolation. In isolation, loneliness finds its best environment for metastasizing, quickly devolving into severe physical problems.
The crazy thing about lonely people is they can’t handle or process authentic connectivity or love from others, mainly because enough is never enough. Their “hiding place” becomes a bottomless pit. A pit that cannot be filled or fulfilled. The irony is even after lonely people become indwelt by Jesus, they continue to suffer with loneliness, putting the same standards they placed on humanity onto Jesus Himself.
Since lonely people shift their attachment to humans (flesh and blood) instead of Jesus, the Biblical violation of idolatry is easily formed in their souls. They often attach themselves to others, draining them dry of affection and, again, finding themselves in the loneliest place on earth – their “hiding place.” After a period of recovery, they seek out one more person to lean on, or should I say “lech,” which means “lust.” As nasty as it sounds, when anyone clings to another outside of Jesus, it is idolatry at its best and certainly a covert form of lust.
LONELINESS IS A CONFESSION OF IDENTITY
God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity; only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. (Psalms 68:6)
Parched land. What a great description of the “hiding place.” The fact is, only the rebellious dwell in their “hiding place.” Jesus understands that humans are lonely without Him and uses this place to form a new identity within the believer. Loneliness is as tied to the quality of one's relationship with the indwelling Life as it is to the perceived need of “feeling” connected to the Body of Christ. In this, the lonely one should avoid blaming their “feelings” on the heartache or isolation “felt” from others.
Let’s face it. Lonely people work relentlessly to place their identity in one or more humans. This is the root sin. I often tell those I am discipling that whatever makes the largest dent in their life reveals their identity confession. The best way to identify our identity is by answering the question Who do I cling to the most.
A lack of authenticity in our relationship with the Holy Spirit from within can result in “feelings” of loneliness. The Lord wants us to “feel” lonely until this doctrine becomes Life. For some, not having a “best friend,” companion, or the type of relationship they see in other believers, who have an intimate relationship with Jesus, creates ungodly jealousy. Again, this triggers loneliness. This too-familiar pattern forms a habitual love affair with themselves.
Why is it so difficult for lonely people to accept companionship?
There's evidence that lonely individuals have a distorted bias in evaluating social interactions, primarily due to their self-focus and standards of social interactions. Lonely people are hyper-sensitive in picking up on potential rejection. In a sense, they have become “rejection junkies.” Often, they reject others before the other has an opportunity to reject them. It is their way of protecting themselves. Statistics reveal that most who suffer from chronic loneliness rarely are delivered and satisfied with God’s norm. However, Jesus is far more powerful than any human's habitual pattern.
Paul said to the Galatian people something life-changing and powerful. Since all believers tend to default to the deeds of the flesh, not just lonely people, one simple solution remains.
Galatians 5:18: Lonely people live under the Law. Those led by the Spirit are freed from the bondage of self-standards.
Galatians 5:19-21: If the deeds of the flesh dominate the mind more than the mind of Jesus within the believer, it affects our inheritance in Christ.
Galatians 5:22-23: The fruit of the Spirit released in the believer is the practical method of overcoming loneliness and isolation.
The package released through the mind of Christ from within is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. None of these are subject to the Law or self-life standards. Here is the catch. All of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is other focused. Since lonely people tend to hoard goodness for themselves, an authentic release of the Spirit becomes their greatest challenge. The answer? To be brought to the end of themselves by their obsession with self-life.