“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.” And so the old song goes. ‘Tis the season that is hard when you are lonely. Loneliness can come from many sources. Perhaps it hits because of the loss of a loved one, because a single person is looking for a special someone, or because a family member can’t be home for Christmas. No matter the reason, loneliness can be especially painful during the holidays.
We hope this short article will provide you with some help and insight from Scripture.
When feeling lonely, remember the following:
- It is normal and human to feel lonely. Remember that Adam felt lonely in the Garden of Eden even before sin came on the scene. He had perfect fellowship with God. He had everything he needed, and yet God himself said in Genesis 2:18 that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. God created us with needs, including a need for food, shelter, clothing, and others.
- Some may flippantly say that God is enough. Often, people will counsel a lonely person to just “enjoy God….Spend time with him. He is all you need, so you don’t really need anyone right now.” We see from the previously mentioned passage that this isn’t really true in most circumstances. In fact, we read in 1 Corinthians 12:21 that none of us should say that we don’t need others. We do! God has chosen to meet the needs that He, in perfect wisdom, created us to have. He has chosen to meet those needs through His gracious provision of other people.
- When all else fails, God truly is enough. Even though God created us with needs, told us to not say we don’t need others, and told us that it is not good that man be alone, there are also passages which address situations in which we are alone and there is nothing we can do to change it. In cases like that—in times when we find ourselves separated from others, perhaps in the middle of a dark cold night—God really is enough. Reach out to Him. Tell Him of your pain. Read His Word, sing songs of praise, pray, and consider Romans 8:35-39:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Beware of diversions that aren’t positive in the long run. Jack Zavada mentions three such diversions in his article on loneliness. He says beware of (1) buying too much, (2) becoming overly busy to the point of exhaustion and breaking down physically, or (3) laying in bed all day feeling sorry for yourself. None of these, or any other tactic that is selfish in nature, will solve the problem.
- Reconsider your talents, spiritual gifts, and opportunities. Referring back to 1 Corinthians 12, each of us has been given special abilities and experiences through which we can serve others. Reconsider yours. Take a spiritual gifts assessment. (Click Here for a free online spiritual gifts assessment.) Ask God to give you new opportunities by connecting you with others through meeting their needs with your God-given gifts and abilities. We would love to have you become part of our church and help you connect with others in ways you could serve the Lord and build new relationships.
- Find a community of believers in a good church if you don’t have one. God has created us to interact with other people, and His design for us is to do that within a local church. If you have a church, tell your leaders about your struggle with loneliness and ask for help in becoming more involved. If you’re not part of a good church, find one. We would love to have you visit our church to see if it may be a fit for you. Look for other places in your community where you can connect with others by way of helping them. In reaching out to others, you will find God meeting your needs for companionship. Consider local nursing homes, children’s homes, shelters, food pantries, and so on.
- Open yourself up to new relationships. Perhaps you had a loss, you suffered a painful relationship breakup, or you are simply feeling sorry for yourself. Move ahead with expectant hope in God’s grace and mercy. Remind Him again that you are lonely. Ask Him to help you with the grief, mistrust, or hurt you feel. Lay it at His feet as often as you struggle. Don’t go out looking for a friend as your main priority. Instead, go out to be a friend and trust God to connect you with the right people.