How to Deal with Loneliness

People who are socially isolated may be at a greater risk of dying sooner, a British study suggests. But do Facebook friends count? How about texting?

Many people battle with loneliness during the holiday season. The Bible gives some pointers on how to deal with this dilemma.

Paul seemed to be suffering from loneliness as he wrote to his friend Timothy from a prison cell. Here is what we can learn from him from 1 Tim.4.

First, reach out to a friend and ask for a visit (v.9). Don’t wait for people to come to you. You take the initiative.

Second, face reality. Paul lamented the fact that some people had deserted him (vv.10, 16). Only after you see things for how they really are can you begin to make them better.

Third, understand that you do have some good things going on in your life. Paul’s friend Luke was still with him (v.11). Exaggerating our problems only makes them worse.

Fourth, ask for some specific favors. Paul asked that Timothy bring Mark to see him, and that he bring his cloak and reading material (vv.11, 13). Don’t be afraid to ask someone to do you a favor and bring someone or something that would brighten up your day.

Fifth, offer forgiveness to someone who has wronged you (v.16). Lonely people often tend to hold on to bitter grudges, which only makes them more miserable.

Finally, remember the presence of the Lord in your life (v.17). He has promised that he will never leave you or forsake you.

Here is hoping that you have an enjoyable Christmas holiday with the people that you love!

 

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