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April 12, 2021

Ep.1173: How Do I Cope With Overwhelming Loneliness?

Discovering five practical and scriptural ways to combat loneliness

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CHAPTERS

[00:15:38]
How can we break the pattern of loneliness shutting us down?


[00:28:01]
Is being lonely a sin?


[00:45:30]
Should we measure the value of our lonely feelings against other things that are important to God?


Theme Scripture: John 16:32

No one wants to be lonely. It is a sad and painful state of being that daily grows more and more common. There is a major difference between being alone and being lonely. To be alone is to be without anyone to engage with. This can be a productive place to be when in the right frame of mind. On the other hand, we can feel isolated in a crowded room or when we are with family and friends. We can be lonely at work, at play and even at church. Perhaps we are lonesome when with our spouse or when engaged in social media. Loneliness is not dictated by outward circumstances, rather it is driven by our interpretations of our experiences and our perceptions of our environment. To be lonely is to feel unimportant. It is to be convinced we do not belong and that we in some way, are unacceptable and even unwanted. Loneliness can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to combat it!

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Failure?

If we are stuck in a lonely corner of our lives, the last thing we want to do is to let others know. Such an action is far too risky, as it brings on the anxiety of a further sense of rejection. We don’t want to hear, “Pull yourself together!” or "Get out there and meet someone!” While these statements may be meant as encouragement, they feel like judgment and enhance our fear of failure. Loneliness, therefore, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Feeling lonely provokes actions of loneliness and expectations of continued isolation. How do we begin to  break down this destructive pattern?

Approach #1: Prayer

We suggest five action steps for Christians. The first is prayer. Why? Prayer is a private experience. No one needs to know about it which relieves us from the ever-present sense of judgment we feel. Think about this – God ALREADY knows we are desperately lonely. He ALREADY knows how we arrived at such a state of mind. The purpose of approaching God through Jesus about our isolation is not to inform God of what is happening but to say it. The purpose is to humbly admit to our heavenly Father the extent of our misery and to place our experience into His eternally-capable hands. We begin to seek His will in coping with it.

While taking such a first step requires the courage to be honest and humble before God, its benefits can be dramatic. Understanding ourselves through the lens of God’s mercy and love can help us develop the fortitude for the next steps. Check out our April 12, 2021 podcast, “How Do I Cope With Overwhelming Loneliness?” for more. We round out the approach to and benefits of prayer.  The next four steps are introduced, seeing how steps two and three are basically private and therefore less daunting. Don’t miss this opportunity for profound and practical insight. Loneliness does not have to rule our daily life if we learn how to cope with it!

 

 

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2 replies
  1. Mo
    Mo says:

    Wow. This article so misses the mark. I pray no one who truly deals with this take this article as Truth.

    Wow. “Self-fulfilling Prophecy.” Some of the most prominent men of God in the bible dealt with loneliness. You need to take this down before it causes serious harm to someone who are really looking for answers. Please do minister from the revelation of the heart of God. Only teach the Word of God when you have a revelation of His true heart and character towards His sheep

    Reply
    • Christian Questions
      Christian Questions says:

      Hi, Mo, thank you for the message. We implore you to listen to the podcast rather than trying to guess our position based on a quick blog summary. We go into scriptural detail of those in the Bible who dealt with loneliness, and many of our volunteers here at Christian Questions have experienced serious loneliness at one time or another. We offer practical and scripturally-sound advice in the hour-long discussion. We explain in detail what is meant by “self-fulfilling prophecy” within a cycle that is difficult to break out of unless specific, godly steps are taken. Please read the CQ Rewind Show Notes while you listen, available on the audio page here. We provide every scripture quoted and much of the commentary so you can follow along while you listen. We take this topic very seriously and acknowledge that some will need and should seek professional help. – Christian Questions

      Reply

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