There are two types of people who struggle with loneliness: those who can’t escape it and those who are desperately seeking it. There are some people who are stuck in their loneliness. Being around others causes feelings of depression and despair. Some hate being around people. It causes anxiety, stress, and frustration. Whether you want it or you’re trying to escape it, loneliness is never a good thing. No matter what side you’re on in the loneliness struggle you must know that God never intended for us to be alone. So, why does the struggle exist? The battle we have with loneliness has a lot to do with selfishness. The core of it is sin.
Sin is “missing the mark” of what God intended for creation. If God designed us to be relational and in community then sin ruins that. It alienates us from God and each other. That is why the root of loneliness is sin.
When we are in despair because we are lonely we are focused on ourselves alone. When we isolate ourselves from people we are also solely focusing on ourselves. Selfishness gets us stuck in our loneliness or causes us to want to be alone.
Loneliness was never God’s desire for us. We were created by a God who was and always is in community with himself as the social Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When God created us in his image, he created us to be social and relational people. Even when he calls us to be away from each other, it is only for a time to be alone with him.
Loneliness is a battle. We have to fight the disconnection we feel or the desire to be away from people. How is the battle with Loneliness won? We must learn how to see past ourselves and look to Christ.
When Jesus was on earth, he understood and experienced every human struggle that we go through. But he ultimately felt the weight of the alienation we suffer from sin. When he was crucified he became sin for the sake of the world and cried out, “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me?” At that moment, Jesus was alienated from God. Rejected by his people and separated from the Father, he was alone. In doing so he took on our loneliness and when he was raised to life every consequence of sin was defeated. Through Jesus, we can have reconciliation with God and others. Jesus restores and enables relationship and community to the way God intended it to be.
In order to win the battle with loneliness, we need to be humbled before God. Not focusing on ourselves and our desires but on him. Look to Jesus, for he comforts us in our misery and reminds us that we are destined for community and relationship. When we find ourselves focused on him we think less about ourselves and more on others. Other people who also battle with loneliness. Christ-like humility breaks the bonds of loneliness and leads us on a path of selflessness.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” –Philippians 2:1-4