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Overcoming Loneliness (Part Four)

 

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance (KJV)?

As counterintuitive as this may sound, loneliness is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it can be a very good thing.  It does serve a purpose, just as the rest our emotions do.  For example, without loneliness where would the need or desire for relationship be?  Without it, it may be that some would never enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and be reconciled unto the Father.  Loneliness actually does work as an act of kindness.  This may be especially true for those whose conscience have been seared and are less aware of their sin and a need for a Savior.  It is not necessarily a good thing to eliminate loneliness as a whole, neither is it good to be completely overrun by it.

If our emotions are brought under the control of the Holy Spirit, they can serve as a “spiritual barometer.”  Emotions in of themselves are neutral.  Meaning, they are neither good nor bad.  For example, being angry is not sin. When a person allows anger to speak for him is when it can be problematic (see Ephesians 4:26).  At the same time, there is what people fondly call “righteous indignation,” where injustice or that which is contrary to the Word of God may move one to act in order to remedy the situation.  Our emotions can serve as tools to help keep us aware of things, and to motivate us in the right direction.  In relation to loneliness, feeling lonely may indicate to us that we have not spent enough time with the Lord, or we need to spend more time with loved ones, or to fellowship more with other believers.  It ties in with “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and protects us from “absence makes us forget.”  It lets us know that there is something lacking in our relationship with others.  One of the worst things we can do is totally inoculate ourselves from loneliness, thereby becoming insensitive to our relationship with others.  Instead, we ought to go the Father with it, and ask Him to show us what we need to see.  Sometimes we need to embrace suffering enough to move forward in our relationships, especially with our Lord.  There should be a Biblical balance in the way we approach loneliness.  We should not invite it in to stay, nor should we completely shun it.

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