A Solution to Loneliness - Part 1 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

A Solution to Loneliness – Part 1 — Morning Devotions

Loneliness is something that happens to everyone - even David in the Bible, a king - often spoke of the loneliness he felt. So what do we do?

By Chris WittsWednesday 7 Jun 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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“I have no one to talk to. I just feel so lonely and depressed.” Here was a lady who was sobbing these words on the phone one night to her friend, and eight months earlier, her husband’s company had actually relocated them from one city to another, and she was a graphics designer, had her own home business.

And she said to a friend on the phone, Since I work out of my home and and I didn’t have an office to go to, I was hoping that our new church congregation would be a good outlet to make friends. But after all these months, we still feel like we’re outsiders at church. Most of the people here already have got their friends, and they pretty much stay within their own cliques. Hardly anyone has made an effort to get to know us. And when I try to initiate conversations at church with others, usually they give me a couple of minutes at the most, and then they’re rushing off to be with a group of friends and after church, I can pretty much tell you which couples are going to go to the restaurants together. But my husband and I are never included.

Now, you might think this morning that that sort of thing doesn’t happen to church people. But unfortunately it does. And many of us, I guess, have encountered cliques. You know, the groups that sort of come together – the huddles, and we feel as if we’re there looking on. But we’re not included. We’re excluded, we’re disconnected. And this can be a fairly lonely experience, as it was for this lady.

The commonness of loneliness

Now, of course, there are many other types of circumstances that can bring on that sense of loneliness and that could well be you. This morning, you may be suffering the loss of a husband or a wife through death or divorce. You could be shy by nature and not feel that you’re confident in interacting with others. And you could be so busy with your own career that you don’t devote a lot of time to relationships. And work might be all that really fills up your time.

You might live in a remote area somewhere far from your friends and neighbours, or not have visitors. Now there could be unresolved issues or misunderstandings that have alienated you from friends and family. Maybe your kids have grown up and you’re a little bit older and your kids have moved away, and this has left an awful void in your life. And sometimes you can feel lonely for really no reason. You just don’t know why you feel you can’t connect with the people around you. Is that your experience?

Well, John Woodward is one of America’s leading researchers on loneliness. This is such a huge topic. He’s a psychology professor at the University of Nebraska,

And he said that loneliness touches everyone’s life to some degree. Loneliness, he said, a feeling of isolation and separation from other people. Well, that’s true, isn’t it? It can result when a person is physically isolated from family and friends, or when a person is in a room full of people. And even there can be that sense of disconnection. As I said before, people who know each other tend to gravitate and speak to one another and not realise there’s someone standing on the edge. This matter of loneliness can range from mild to severe and can occur once in a blue moon or can be a chronic problem. And I want to say today that certainly God has created us to be social creatures. I mean, all of us need a certain amount of people contact. Some need, of course, more than others, depending on how extroverted they are by nature.

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So how do you cope if you’re in the unfortunate situation of feeling that sense of detachment and loneliness? Well, I’ve got five suggestions to make, and we’ll do some today and I’ll just want to share a few more tomorrow. And these, I think, are very helpful. I hope they are. And loneliness is not something that you can just easily discard for some people can be the most devastating experience, heart wrenching.

And I don’t know the statistics here in Australia, but I have an idea there would be many.

1. Admitting Loneliness

Let me say the first one is to admit that you are lonely now. It may not be easy to admit that after all, we live in a society where popularity is celebrated and encouraged, and to admit openly that you’re lonely can sort of say, Well, look, I’m unpopular and who wants to be unpopular. It’s important that you acknowledge to yourself how you are feeling and doing this will help you figure out. Well, I’ve got to do something about it. And if you don’t, then you’re really kind of denying that. And the issues won’t be dealt with. And I want to talk about this again further tomorrow (Part 2).

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, we know there are lonely people, but we know you are the God of comfort. Thank you for that strength. Amen.