Concepts taken from Biblical Counseling (Clinton and Hawkins), Purpose-Driven Life (Warren), and Positivity (Fredrickson)
Triune God is in relationship (horizontally with Himself, vertically with us). Therefore, because we are created in God’s image, we desire relationship. Never believe the lie that it’s just you and God, and that you don’t need other people in your life. If God Himself is in relationship with Himself and us – and we are created in His image – then we, too, are designed and created for relationship with Him and others.
Types of Loneliness
Source of Loneliness
- What is the source of your loneliness? Is it situational, emotional, or chronic?
Is your loneliness based on a perception or an unchangeable circumstance?
Note: Loneliness may be the natural response to grief. For other kinds of loneliness, there may be times when God allows someone to be alone to move away from loneliness. (The feeling of loneliness is a “red flag” that God gives us in order to evaluate, take action, and responsibility for our lives.)
- Recognize the feeling and put these feelings in writing (e.g. journal).
- Make spiritual (vertical) changes to move out of loneliness.
- Seek God daily.
- Focus on what God is teaching you during this season of time.
- Focus on the positive.
When you’re lonely, it’s easy to dwell or ruminate on the negatives. You must be intentional about looking at the blessings and positives. Science has clinically proven that the ratio for positives to negatives in >3 to 1. So for every negative in your life, find more than 3 positives. This will change your outlook and how you view this season of time. Employ this mental tool every day. Keep a gratitude journal and track how your outlook and attitude begin to change.
- Make social (horizontal) changes to move out of loneliness (e.g. joining a community or church group).
- Seek ways to serve others (loneliness keeps you self-focused; actively seeking out opportunities to be with others shifts the focus).
- Call a friend(s) to spend time together. This can include conversation, or a shared activity.
Point to Ponder:
You need others in your life, and others need you.
Verse to Remember: “Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Question to Consider:
What one step can you take today to connect with another believer at a more genuine, heart-to-heart level?
You must be intentional about addressing the issue of loneliness in your life and moving forward in spite of your feelings. By default, loneliness will not go away. In other words, you must be intentional about moving away from it, and you can do this by seeking out God and others, but it will not happen on its own. God calls you to be active in your growth and a steward of your life. Remember, too, that God created volition into your soul. You have been given the gifts of choice and responsibility. What you choose to do with your loneliness is up to you! Now….take the first step!