The Bible encourages us to consider several things when we grapple with loneliness:
First, focus on the needs of others. We can choose to turn our eyes toward other people, instead of staying focused on ourselves. And we can look for specific ways to serve them. The apostle Paul focused on telling more people about Jesus: “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (2 Timothy 4:17a NIV).
Second, focus on your purpose. Even when the apostle Paul was isolated in a prison, he never stopped living out his purpose. He kept telling others about Jesus. In fact, while under house arrest in Rome, he wrote many of the letters that are now part of the New Testament.
Third, focus on supporting others. Instead of thinking, “I’m so lonely,” say, “Father, help me be a friend to people who need a friend. Help me to help lonely people.” That’s an effective antidote for loneliness.
You can help others become rich in relationships by giving them the gift of you.
Talk It Over
- Talk about the significance of this verse: “But the Lord stood at my side” (2 Timothy 4:17a NIV).
- How can living out your purpose help you with loneliness?
- What are some ways you can reach out and support other people who might be lonely?
(Source: Rick Warren)