Pastor Jim outlines how to overcome being lonely as a single Christian.
Are you lonesome tonight? I can hear Elvis Presley singing this song as he expressed how much he was missing his love. In my mind I can see thousands of single adults howling along with Elvis as they express the loneliness in their lives. Coyotes would have to take a second seat to this choir’s rendition.
Loneliness is a plague for many single adults. It visits them at strange times and in strange locations. They may be in a room filled with people and yet the ache of loneliness hits them like a ton of bricks. Perhaps it is at night when they are finished with the day’s activities and have nothing to focus on but their thoughts. Loneliness makes one feel depressed and can become an unhealthy force if not addressed.
Jesus filled his time by seeking what pleased God
God does not want His children to be lonely. The New Testament reveals that Christ often chose to be alone. However Christ was never lonely. John 8:29 states “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” Jesus was a single adult with MANY expectations on Him. I believe that Jesus was providing an essential ingredient to not experience loneliness. He filled His time by seeking what pleased God.
Live where God’s spirit is present
Yeah, right, Jim! I am supposed to live in some dimension where I cannot feel the pain of loneliness? My reply would be ‘no’ and ‘yes.’ I am not suggesting that you ignore realities and live in a fantasy world. My encouragement is to live where God’s Spirit is always present and empowering you with hope and joy.
But Jim you do not understand the forces behind loneliness as a single adult. I beg to differ with you for I experienced being single after my divorce. When I chose to focus on the past and myself, I was deeply discouraged and depressed. The loneliness enveloped me like a mighty pressure field that seemed to squeeze the life out of me.
Serve with and for others
However, when I ‘chose’ to seek God and spend time serving with and for others, I found that my loneliness evaporated like a mist. Here is a definition of loneliness that I invite you to consider:
Loneliness: The emotional force that develops when one focuses on themselves and their past or current condition.
It is the cesspool that develops when there is not a healthy and balanced forward outlet.
Spend time with God
Being alone is not a negative condition. Each of us needs to follow Jesus’ example and spend time alone, especially with God.
Don’t focus on yourself
Loneliness is not a result of being alone. It is the ‘developed’ condition that we will find ourselves in IF we place too much focus on our conditions and ourselves.
Be proactive: Do you have a negative self-image?
Be proactive as a single adult and take stock of your life. Do you have a healthy self-image in all areas of your life? If not, this is the first place to apply energy and thought. Find out why you have a negative self-image in an area and process it in a healthy manner. This may involve a counselor to help you progress.
Ask God where you should serve
Ask God where He wants you to serve. There are so many wonderful areas of service that can be done individually, in or through a church, or in the community. There are literally thousands of non-profits in our communities that make a wonderful difference. However, your service must be done primarily to God and then to others. This will save you a lot of heartaches if you keep this in mind.
Marriage is not the answer to loneliness
Marriage does NOT solve loneliness, not even a relationship. I suggest that if you are experiencing loneliness and set out to find a relationship to solve it you will only carry the root forces into the new relationship. Let me express it another way. If you HAVE TO GET MARRIED, you are headed for trouble – I mean TROUBLE.
Marriage is a wonderful thing if to the right person at the right time. I have found that the best place to be is to want to be married, but not have to be married. It is a place of peace that allows wisdom to permeate any relationships that may develop.
Being single means you’re not hindered to serve God
I love the words that Paul shared in 1Corinthians 7 that it is a desirable place to be single. It is too bad that too many churches do not honor this. Paul says that by being single you are not hindered to serve God.
Feeling pressure? Remember God is with you!
If you are feeling the force of loneliness I pray that God will use these words to change your focus. I realize that society can put a lot of pressure upon you. However God is with you ALL the time.
He wants to bless you and guide you to days of great victories and joy. Do not allow your thoughts or the evil one to rob you of your joy. Satan knows that if you remain under the power of loneliness you are limiting God’s blessing on your life.
You are an awesome creation and have great value. Allow God to fill your days with hope and power as you embrace His wisdom and guidance.
Psalm 68:6 – God makes a home for the lonely