We are all a bit scared of loneliness – of being alone. Of being left out. Of not being loved. Or needed. Or cared about. “Lonely” hits a spot of fear in all of us even if we don’t acknowledge it.
It is a known fact, most pastors, missionaries and leaders in churches feel lonely often. You would think that in our age of social media explosion this would be a thing of the past, but it is not. Having 1,000 friends on Facebook cannot fill the void in our hearts. It gives us a hint of satisfaction when lots of people “like” what we have posted, but the feeling is short-lived. Lets face it: our online communities can never replace the experience of being face to face with another human being!
When God said in the beginning of the Bible that it was not good for the man to be alone, he was not only talking about marriage. We were created in God’s likeness, and he is never alone - he has community within himself and is constantly surrounded by myriads of angels. Still, that was not enough, so he created mankind to have fellowship with. No wonder we feel so incomplete whenever we are cut off from friendship and meaningful relationships.
The enemy of our soul knows that and has been deceiving us gradually into actually believing that we don’t need each other. In our Western World, individualism and independence have been elevated to some of the greatest values in our societies.
In 1950, living alone was fairly rare around the world, and by 2010 Sweden topped the list with 49% 1-person households (this trend is still rising, and in the capital Stockholm we are soon reaching the 60% mark). If we compare that to Israel with 18%, and India with only 4% then we can see that we are on a sure path to more loneliness.
Modern research has discovered that Man’s greatest need is BELONGING. In the Bible we see that the deepest form of belonging, initiated by God himself is the covenant relationship - a mutual bond between 2 parties that overcomes all obstacles.
"A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick." Brene Brown
The same research suggests that Man’s greatest fear is VULNERABILITY. It is the first thing we look for in others, but is the last thing we want to give ourselves.
"Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn't feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive." Brene Brown
The bottom line is this: Whoever you are, and wherever you find yourself in life, you were not meant to be alone out there!