Friday, December 12, 2008

It Is Not Good to be Alone

{Ecclessiastes 4:9-12; ESV}
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

We are social beings by nature. God created us to have relationships with each other. When these relationships are absent from our lives then life isn’t what it should be. Many of us have experienced times of loneliness. Often this feeling of loneliness is most intense when we are among other people with whom we lack a real relationship. It is the lack of relationships, not people, that lead to loneliness.

Loneliness is the very first thing that God declares to be not good: The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him." (Genesis 2:18; NET). God just didn’t create another persons, but He created a companion for Adam. Companionship is the answer to loneliness and if we fail to have companions then we will fight loneliness the rest of our lives.

Do not equate loneliness with the absence of a romantic relationship in your life. Yes, to solve the problem of Adam’s loneliness God created Eve, but there is a bigger implication to God giving Adam Eve as his companion. That male and female romantic relationship guaranteed that never again did a person have to be alone. So while romance can provide us with companionship we can also find much needed companionship in great friendship as well. With this in mind I think there are two lies Satan tells us that we need recognize so we aren’t overcome by loneliness.

The first lie Satan wants us to believe is: Romance is essential for life. The world promotes romance and couples, and it is easy to feel like you are missing when you are single. Trust me, I have been there. As a life long bachelor I know the feeling of loneliness that comes with being a single in a couple’s world.

There are two dangers we face if we buy into this lie. The first danger is that we don’t appreciate the friendships that we do have. Rather than being an encouraging friend, we mope around and make ourselves depressed. The result is that we will either not want to do things with our friends, or they won’t want to do things with us, and the feelings of loneliness become even more intense.

The second danger is that we will stay in a bad relationship rather than face the reality of being alone. If we fear being alone then we will put up with a lot of frustration, abuse, and heartache caused by a bad romantic relationship. “After all,” we reason, “it isn’t as bad as being alone,” as the bad relationship robs us of the life God created us to live.

The second lie Satan wants us to believe is: If people REALLY knew me they wouldn’t like me. Sometimes we are reluctant in pursuing friendships because Satan whispers in our ear, “If they really knew you they would want nothing to do with.” The knowledge of our sins makes us feel unworthy to be with people we think have it more together than we do.

This has been a lie that I have had to deal with in my life. I have dealt with a some major sin issues in my life that have made me feel like I couldn’t be my real self, especially since I am a preacher and have preacher friends. Instead of opening up and asking for help, I have hid. It is hard to open up and being honest with people if you fear they will reject you. For followers of Christ I think this lie is so detrimental to our lives and keeps us from really having those real authentic relationships we need in our lives. This means we have to be understanding with those people who have trusted themselves to us, and we have work at building trusting relationships so we can feel confident about opening up to other Christians.

Relationships are crucial for life. We cannot really follow Jesus without the help and encouragement of other people or the opportunity to show compassion to those people we know who need help. These relationships are one of the tools God uses to shape us into the people that He created us to be. It is not good for any of us to be alone.

  • Point to Ponder: Relationships are crucial for life.
  • Passage to Remember: Ecclessiastes 4:9-12
  • Prayer to Pray: Heavenly Father, provide me with opportunities to build relationships...


Anonymous said...

Good post, my brother in Christ. I know that at times we can think that if we aren't with someone romantically, we aren't doing something right. It seems to be a culture related thing as well. I will definitely be keeping up on your blog posts. God bless you!

Kris said...

you can also feel alone when you are in a wonderful, God centered do struggle with this much more, but it can be an area of sin for couples as well


Paul said...

Thanks for the comments. In part this issue is about our choice to value the relationships in our lives.

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