The Washington Post headline, “Surgeon General Says There’s a Loneliness Epidemic.” USA Today, “Young People Report More Loneliness Than the Elderly.” The Boston Globe, “The Biggest Threat Facing Middle-Aged Men Isn’t Smoking or Obesity. It’s Loneliness.”
Loneliness is a problem facing our culture. Even with cell phones, email and social media – people lack relationships.
Radical individualism is to blame. But God has made us relational beings. He is relational. The marvel of our faith is we can have a relationship with the Triune God! And he wants us to have relationships with others too, especially those within the church. True community requires frequency of interactions.
That’s why I will do everything to create opportunities for us to hang out as a church beyond these four walls.
With the holiday season approaching many of us will experience loneliness. What must we do? We need to first turn to God – he is our dwelling. Find time for prayer and Bible reading. Secondly, we need to remember our faith involves others. Paul writes “our Lord” 53 times in his letters – “my Lord” once. Are you part of our small group ministry? And finally reach out to others. Far too often we bemoan others for not reaching out to us. If so our focus is inward. That temptation is rampant. Be others-centered, not self-centered. Who could YOU include for the holidays? Who could YOU reach out to in an email, text phone call or visit? Loneliness can be helped by serving others.
How do you spell ‘joy’? Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last.