Recently NBC aired a special news report on the increase of loneliness in people around the world. The British government has now instituted a “minister for loneliness.” This new undersecretary in England has been commissioned to work on what the prime minister called “the sad reality of modern life.”
How is it possible? We have more communication and more connection than ever and yet more people feel disconnected and alone. And it’s not just those living alone. Often those who are surrounded most by people – great crowds of people – feel very much isolated.
In our own country medical professionals are now talking about loneliness as a public health issue. The former surgeon general went so far as to say that “the world is suffering from an epidemic of loneliness.” Perhaps it always has been in some way. Separation and anxiety are all traced to the fall of man. Sin separated man from the love and acceptance God always intended.
All of God’s people are commissioned as “ministers for loneliness.” We have the truth that a lonely world desperately needs to hear…
- Everybody needs Jesus. They don’t know it. Many wouldn’t admit it. What everybody is looking for is a relationship that transcends earthly interaction. Only Jesus can say, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). When you live conscious of His presence you never have to be lonely. Though I often travel by myself it is a great comfort to remember that I never board a plane alone, never check into a hotel alone, and never drive alone. Christ is with me always.
- Everybody needs friends. As I grow older I understand more fully that deep friendships are rare. Acquaintances and casual friendships abound, but everyone needs someone to be close to. You must work to initiate and maintain such relationships. For the record, online interaction is not enough. Social media has made us less social! Have a conversation today. Make a phone call. Write a letter. Visit someone. Take a friend out for lunch. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly” (Proverbs 18:24). You need it and so do they.
- Everybody needs family. “God setteth the solitary in families…” (Psalm 68:6). Family was the Creator’s idea. It is in His very nature, and He placed it in ours. The love and unity of the Godhead is to be seen in our homes. Do not neglect the people living under your own roof! And what of those who do not have others in their home? Many people are separated from family by circumstance or geography. God has given us in the local church the opportunity to be a part of the greatest family on earth: the family of God. Build relationships with other believers. Everybody needs family.
You may be alone today, but you do not have to be lonely. Talk with Christ. Reach out to others around you. Consider the family you belong to and remember who your Father is. Live in His presence and seek to minister to the lonely all around you!