February 17, 2017
The Cure for Loneliness
By Skip Heitzig
Years ago, I took a survey in our church of questions believers had about various topics, and boy, did they pour in: the bulk of them dealt with relationships—singleness, marriage, divorce—but they also touched on a myriad of other things. What I found once I looked at them and prayed over them, however, was that the underlying problem to much of the suffering believers face is loneliness.
I'm not talking about the inmate in prison. I'm not talking about the divorced people who sit in the bar drinking away their sorrows. And I'm not just talking about lonely-heart singles. I'm speaking about church-going Christians who are married with a couple of kids, a nice home, and a lot of toys, who are still miserable and lonely.
Loneliness is feeling alone even when you're surrounded by people. It's feeling unwanted, like nobody cares—like there's no hope. On a spiritual level, loneliness is the malnutrition of the soul that comes from living on substitutes.
This is the result of living on substitutes: it causes your soul to be eaten away. What's sad is that I have met believers who are content to settle for this way of living. God wants to give them abundant life; they settle for fun. God wants to give them joy; they settle for entertainment. God wants to give them rest; they settle for sleeping pills.
"Listen carefully to Me," the Lord continued in
Now, I don't want to sound simplistic when I say the ultimate answer to loneliness is Jesus Christ, but I truly believe that a relationship with Christ solves loneliness. But this relationship with Him can't just be casual contact; it needs to be an intimate, abiding, permanent relationship (see
We also need relationships with other people. Please recognize that the church is a body in which all the parts depend on one another (see
And that's God's design, God's cure for loneliness: a foundation in Christ and relationships with others. If you're trying to live on substitutes today and all you're feeling is loneliness, know that God sees your malnourished soul and is saying, "Come, buy, freely eat. Don't spend your money without satisfaction. Don't spin your wheels with no results." Don't settle for a substitute when God wants to give you the real thing for free.
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