The Surest Way to Relieve Your Loneliness
You don’t have to be a statistic in the loneliness epidemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard and unexpectedly in 2020. It became a public health crisis that sent humanity into a panic and consumed people’s lives for the better part of three years.
But there is another public health crisis that many don’t talk about—one that is just as if not more devastating than COVID.
It’s called loneliness.
In 2021, the United States surgeon general issued this warning: “Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation has been an underappreciated public health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health.”
Those are some strong words. Loneliness … an epidemic? A public health crisis?
Perhaps the surgeon general had insight into some recent research. A study toward the end of 2023 sadly revealed 30% of US adults admit they are lonely. Those who track Google trends notice that “loneliness” is a top searched keyword.
While loneliness may be more prevalent these days, like fear, guilt, or depression, it is not a new emotion. It plagued some of our favorite Bible heroes. King David complained of being lonely. So did the prophet Jeremiah. Even Jesus experienced loneliness.
The Truth about Loneliness
It might be easy to understand loneliness among people who lived centuries ago. They didn’t have all our modern methods of communication and travel.
But what’s our excuse?
The average person today has 338 “friends” on Facebook. Most people have a phone they can use to contact someone at any time. Churches, shopping centers and restaurants abound. It’s not hard to be among people.
When it comes to loneliness, an absence of people is not the whole issue. Loneliness is ultimately rooted in an absence of understanding. You feel lonely and disconnected when you feel misunderstood. That’s why you can feel alone in a crowd of people.
Story of my life.
In my twenties and early thirties—though I was in leadership in ministry and took part in various groups—I still felt lonely.
Why? Because I was trying to connect with people from behind a mask. I was afraid to let people know my true self and my true interests, even the most trivial things, such as music, food and hobbies.
I’d feel lonely at a party or a small group because I didn’t feel understood or connected.
The Loneliness Solution
Thankfully, I feel less lonely than ever these days. That’s not because I grew my circle of friends. It’s because I grew in my understanding of the gospel.
First and foremost, the gospel assures that I am fully known and fully loved. From my strangest interests to my most secret weaknesses, God knows everything about me. He knew it all before I was born, in fact. He loved me then, He loves me now, He promises to love me forever without exception.
The most healing truth I accepted, though, is that I don’t need to be ashamed of anything about me. The gospel assures that Jesus made me right.
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. —Romans 3:22
(More about this life-changing truth in my upcoming book, Permission to Be Imperfect.)
These truths apply to you, too. You too are fully known and fully loved. Because of Jesus, you too are right.
I can’t overstate how much relief I have found from loneliness since understanding the gospel more fully. (This is why I often call it the gospill.)
Because I know there is nothing wrong with me, I am comfortable to let others see the real me. Or more of it, at least.
Some people like what they see. Others don’t.
That’s OK. The understanding and connection I get from one or two people who really know me is sufficient to quench my loneliness.
I believe it will be the same for you.
You don’t have to be a statistic when it comes to the loneliness epidemic. Embracing the gospel allows you to embrace your design. That will lead you to genuine connection with the people God made to appreciate you. Even if only a few.
[Discover how to understand and apply the gospel for relief from more toxic emotions like fear, offense, depression, guilt and shame. Get my 5-message series today for your donation of ANY amount.]