Overcoming Loneliness Part Three
by Curt Klingeman
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Matthew 16:24-25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it (KJV).
When it comes to dealing with loneliness this particular verse may seem out of place, but in reality, it is vital to nullifying it. Denying the self, taking up our cross and following Jesus is an act of humility that says, “I’m going to things on His terms.” It denies the self the “right” to insert itself into any given situation. Furthermore, it denies our emotions the power to rule our lives, and does not allow imaginations that are contrary to the Truth to control of our thought-life. By denying the self and taking up our cross, we will not allow loneliness to reign over us.
There are those who like to possess it as their own. They may say they want to be rid of loneliness, but secretly it is one of their pet emotions. They would rather have it lick their face while snuggling with it, than give it a good sound licking. It is a rather strange attraction. What it boils down to is they like to feel sorry themselves, and loneliness is a great tool for doing just that. As long as they love their pet, their pet is home to stay. Similarly, some use loneliness as a means to get attention. They may not outright say, “feel sorry for me,” they simply employ loneliness to do the speaking for them. Unfortunately, they fail to see anything good about themselves that allows them to have meaningful relationships with others. They simply cannot see others wanting to spend time with them, because they feel worthless. As long as they hold this view, they will tend to push others away and continue their solitary lifestyle. Once they make the decision to see their selves the way God would want them to, they will be ready to move out of Lonelyville. The bottom line is that some people are lonely because they choose to be lonely.
Matthew 16:24-25 calls us to take an honest assessment of where we are in life. Until we deny the self the right to deceive us, it will be difficult to look at things honestly. Whether it is loneliness or any other struggle in our walk, we have to look at it through eyes of the Lord. As tough as it can be sometimes, we must allow the Holy Spirit to show us what we do not see and convict us when needed. We cannot continue ignoring what He may be trying to show us. An honest assessment concerning our selves can be found in the Word of God. Both Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18 tells us that it is impossible for God to lie, which means when He reveals His Word to us it is the absolute truth. Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63, KJV). In John 8:31-32, Jesus also said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (KJV). Jesus intended for us to have life, and for us to live free in Him. If God wanted us to be lonely, why would He wipe every tear from our eyes in heaven? If He thought you were worthless, why did the Father send Jesus to die for you? What part of being free did you not understand? Knowing the Truth will set you free of loneliness as you continue in His Word, which is absolute Truth. The question is whom will you believe. The world says you are worthless, the Lord says you are precious.
While growing up, some of you may have been told that you were insignificant by those closest to you, and you have been believing that lie ever since. Often the way we interact with others is based upon our belief system. We tend to respond to others in proportion to the way we see our selves. Consequently, if one sees his self as having no value to others, he will tend to act in such a way to prove his hypothesis. That means he will sabotage his relationships with others in order to maintain his identity. However, if he begins to see himself the way God intended, he will also begin to act in ways that are conducive to relationships. One of the biggest revelations a person can have is the fact that God loves him. Once he has that squared away, it will be easier to believe what God says about him. He would discover that he is relevant because God made him relevant. If you have a difficult time with feeling insignificant, read His Word. Truth is an amazing thing!
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This is an intense piece. At first I almost felt myself getting defensive as you described why some people feel lonely. I thought it felt like kicking someone when they were down. Then I kept reading and the part about being honest with oneself. Then I thought wow how awesome this piece is. Part of me wonders if those who need to hear this the most might stop reading if they feel uncomfortable. Maybe if you put the part about being honest first might help. I'm not really sure I only know I'm so glad I kept reading because this piece gave me a greater understanding and left me with a sense of hope.