Do you ever feel lonely? I do.
But I know I am not alone in my aloneness.
The human race has been plagued with this malady ever since the fall of mankind, and now with this forced isolation from the Covid-19 pandemic—we feel all the more alone!
There are many reasons why someone might feel lonely—even when not actually alone. I have “good” reason to feel lonely. I’m a widow, live alone, and still relatively new in my geographical area. But do I have to be continually beleaguered with these feelings?
In fact, you and I need not be controlled by any emotion. Being an emotional yo-yo, I’ve had lots of experience and opportunities to demonstrate that victory is won through Christ. Here are 8 tips to help you during lonely times.
1. Address the Source
For me, when I experience loneliness I feel that:
- No one cares.
- I don’t belong.
- I have no value.
But these feelings are not based on truth! They are a byproduct of dwelling on the negative. Just because someone doesn’t call, visit, or whatever does NOT mean they do not care. People do care. And even if they didn’t, God does! I do have value. I am precious in His sight. I belong to Him. He bought me with His own Son’s blood. He is always with me (Mat 28:20).
On these facts, I must focus. That is the second key in overcoming times of loneliness:
2. Focus on God and the Truth
Think about what is true (Phil 4:8). Speak it to your soul—with conviction and out loud if possible. (See My Egg Story for an example of how to do this)
3. We All Feel Lonely at Times
Even our precious Savior experienced loneliness.
“But a time is coming…. when you will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” (Jn 16:32)
Feeling lonely is not a sin. It’s simply part of being human in a fallen world. It becomes a sin when we let it control our actions.
4. Focus on Others
Get involved with people. Attend functions, invite others to get together, volunteer, communicate with people (and not just electronically!). Even during this pandemic we can stay connected by phone or tele-conferencing.
5. Turn it Around
Use your loneliness for good. Reach out to those who are also lonely. You’ll be able to empathize. Trust me—being an instrument to encourage another soul will help dispel all feelings of loneliness!
Being alone is a good thing for me because I am a writer and need that time to fulfill my God-given calling.
6. Stay Productive
—especially in regards to fulfilling your God-given purpose. When I am carrying out God’s will for my life I feel significant and all feelings of loneliness are dissipated. What productive things can you do with your alone time?
7. Make Right Choices
Don’t add to your loneliness by trying to fill that emptiness with things, food, drugs, entertainment, unhealthy relationships, etc. Fill it with the only One who can truly satisfy—Christ. This will take major effort!
“The greatest challenge is to get over the initial hurdle. At such times [in feeling lonely] one does not feel like [doing the right thing] …but I find that when I take the step of faith to do what I know I should do, my feelings begin to change.”1
8. Stay Close to Your Redeemer
Read your Bible, think about God, praise Him. In so doing, you’ll be able to sense His presence more frequently and not feel alone. I have found sensing God’s presence is my most effective defense against loneliness.
To summarize we can simply say:
Get your eyes off yourself!
So my friends, whatever the cause of your loneliness, if you employ these principles you may have occasional visits of feeling lonely, but you won’t live there!
1David Jeremiah Overcoming Loneliness p 107
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.