Have you ever felt alone? Though our need to connect is innate, many of us frequently feel alone. Loneliness is the state of distress or discomfort that results when there is a gap between one’s needs for social connection and actual experiences of it. Whether you are surrounded by others throughout the day—or even in a long-lasting marriage—you can still experience a deep and pervasive loneliness. Research suggests that loneliness poses serious threats to our well-being including our physical health.
God never intended for us to be alone. There are many scriptures that serve as evidence that God made us for deep, meaningful, life-giving, purposeful relational connection vertically with Him and horizontally with other believers in Christ. Unfortunately, many people experience a gap between what they were created to experience ... and what they actually do in terms of connection. So what is it that gets in the way of experiencing that kind of connection with God and others?
There are many enemies to experiencing that meaningful connection with God and others. First of all, Satan is described as a roaring lion who prowls around looking for someone to devour according to 1 Peter 5:8. He would love nothing more than to keep you from connecting with God and others. We are told in 1 Peter 5:9 to “resist Him.” Satan works to convince us to rely on our own strength. Some would term this “individualism.” While we were created to be in interdependent relationship with one another, individualism tells us that we are enough ... that we do not need connection with God or others to be fulfilled. But it is far from the truth.
Another enemy that gets in our way is shame. While God accepts us just as we are and even though He loves us in spite of whom we are or what we have done, shame tells us that God could never accept and love us like that. It also tells us others will not accept and love us as well.
Our wounds is another enemy that can keep us from experiencing that kind of connection with God and others. Some of us have experienced disappointment in community with others. Someone may have hurt us, disappointed us, or maybe we have been angry at God because something did not turn out the way that we hoped.
And if that were not enough, another enemy that can get in our way is simply our own habits/routines. We may just not be in the habit of pursuing relationship with God or other believers.
We were never meant to be alone. If you do not have a personal relationship with God, consider asking Jesus to become your Lord and Savior today. God’s word says that if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and confess with your mouth that He is Lord, you will be saved. In other words, if you want a personal relationship with God, all you have to do is believe He sent Jesus to die for you, He raised Jesus from the dead, and if you ask Jesus to save you from your sins that disconnect you from God ... He will!
For those of us who have given our lives to Jesus, we need to do our best to stay in connection with God on a daily basis, and we need connection with other believers. We are Christ’s body. We are the family of God. If you are not connected with other believers, consider finding a church home if you do not have one. If you do, consider joining a small group where you can know and be known, love and be loved, serve and be served, celebrate and be celebrated. You were made for it. You were made for connection! Connection with God and others is the antidote to the loneliness we experience.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14