Drive Loneliness Away
Loneliness need only be temporary.

Have you ever felt alone in a crowded room? Did you believe that your friends or family were shutting you out? If you are with a new group, like on day one at Philadelphia Youth Camp, do you find it hard to make friends?

Perhaps you have already attended pyc for a few years, yet you feel that you have no one to talk to. Have you experienced that? Do you often find yourself waiting for someone you know to call, e-mail or text you? Do you feel lonely much of the time?

Loneliness is a sorrowful feeling about oneself that most people have experienced, and it has an element of hopelessness. We probably do not need to spend much time defining loneliness because everyone—young and old alike—has suffered with this feeling.

But loneliness is only a feeling—an emotion.

And emotions are temporary. You most likely can recall having an emotion or feeling about something or someone, and then an incident occurred; within just a minute, your feelings changed. Like all emotions, loneliness can be eliminated. It is not a permanent state. You aren’t born with it. It settles on a person after a period of time, so if it comes on you gradually, it can go away as well.

We were created to need companionship and to have relationships with others. At the beginning of the re-creation of the Earth, God said: “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).

Loneliness leaves you feeling empty by making you feel separate—not just a physical separation, but also a separation in mind and thought. The connection between you and other people seems strained or even broken. Don’t fret though: This is a common experience. Communication and interpersonal relationships are difficult things to maintain because all of us change, especially when we are young. New opportunities, interests, surroundings, maturing and a host of other reasons can alter our relationships and lead us into the feeling of loneliness.

But no one needs to be burdened with loneliness on an ongoing basis. It isn’t mentally healthy to do so; it is, in fact, a destructive emotion.

There is a miserable being today who is able to impact human beings through emotions, feelings and attitudes. Satan is constantly broadcasting destructive emotions. He hates you, and he does not want you to be happy. He wants you to feel lonely and discouraged.

To battle loneliness, first recognize that the author of the negative emotion of loneliness is your enemy: Satan the devil. King David gave us an example of what to do about our enemies. In Psalm 18:3, he wrote, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”

One of Satan’s main broadcasts is a feeling that you are being excluded: that you don’t fit in; that you don’t belong; that you weren’t chosen to be part of that group, that class, that team, that family. It’s all about making us feel isolated—and it is a lie.

So beseech God to protect you from your archenemy first of all. Ask Him to give you a hedge from Satan’s broadcasts so you can keep from sinking deeper into the mire of loneliness. But there is more that you have to do.

How many times have you become down, depressed, discouraged and sad because an acquaintance or family member of yours was lonely? You were so involved in their lives that you knew they were feeling left out and devoid of friends—and that impacted you so much you could not concentrate, maybe had trouble sleeping, etc.? For almost everyone, that number is zero.

So what does that tell us? It shows that loneliness is all about the self. You only suffer sorrow and loneliness about yourself, not about how others are being treated or mistreated.

No one is concerned about me. Can’t they see I am lonely? Why do they leave me out? No one wants to really listen to me; no one is really concerned about how I feel. If someone would only reach out to me. I am lonely because no one cares, and no one wants to help.

It’s all about the amazing self!

When we say the types of things written above, the human heart is deceiving us terribly (Jeremiah 17:9). When we say or think those things, the heart is telling us: This loneliness isn’t my fault, and the solution to it is out of my control—and the responsibility for it belongs to someone else. The truth is, your loneliness isn’t someone else’s problem. No one can read your mind and know exactly what you need to hear or do to rid you of your loneliness. Our selfishness is the reason for the continuation of loneliness.

This selfishness can become addictive. So you continue to be the victim, you act lonely, and you begin to believe that no one loves you. Even if someone reaches out, you choose to continue in your depressed, lonely state. You don’t want to change, and you don’t want to alter your misery because you have been “victimized.” Since you won’t attempt to change, those who do try to help simply withdraw even further from you—and your loneliness is compounded.

God wants us to move forward from loneliness. Loneliness might start for reasons out of your control—say, you moved to a new city, or a loved one died—but if you continue in that state, it is because of the self. The self doesn’t want to change.

To eliminate loneliness, you have to look away from self and toward others. You have to make the calls; you have to write the letters or the e-mails; you have to send the text; you have to invite people to your home; you have to be willing to give. And yes, you might have to refine your personality. You might have to omit telling your corny jokes for a while. You might have to expand your interests past the local sports scene or the latest novel you have read. The goal is to create good experiences for other people; you want to focus on their feelings and emotions, and try to build them up and encourage them.

We have been taught that there are two ways of life: the give way and the get way. The deceitful heart we all have tries to convince us that what the self can get is what is best for it. But what is really best for us is to give. The idea of giving and sharing and attempting to bring happiness to others will free you from loneliness.

The self will tell you that this outgoing approach won’t work. That you are too lonely, too worthless, and too shy to try. I can’t do those things, people don’t want to be friends with me, etc.

That is simply your deceitful heart deceiving you into an attitude of fear. Whether you are a Christian or a youth sanctified by God, Christ commands you to eliminate fear.

The perfect Jesus Christ had no patience with the person who buried his talent and said, “ I was afraid and hid your talent in the ground” (Matthew 25:25). Christ’s reply to that: “Thou wicked and slothful servant” (verse 26). Shyness is fear that must be confronted and conquered.

Christ doesn’t want any of us to suffer from loneliness—and we don’t have to. Loneliness can be overcome! All things can be overcome with Christ strengthening you (Philippians 4:13).

Let’s review. When struck by that achy, empty feeling of loneliness, first recognize it as an attack from Satan.

Then beseech God to stay the hand of our archenemy. Develop and implement a strategy to reach out to others. Ask God to help you develop your talents and to help you to express yourself as someone who is interested and concerned for others. Rid yourself of fear, and proceed to serve friends, family and acquaintances with a genuine give attitude.

Drive loneliness away from you by showing outgoing concern for others—and happiness will replace it!