You are currently viewing The Loneliness Epidemic- 1- Why Are We So Lonely?

The Loneliness Epidemic- 1- Why Are We So Lonely?

The Loneliness Epidemic
Day 1- Why Are We So Lonely?
Ruth P McDonald

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, ESV)

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.” (Psalm 38:9, ESV)

Long before Covid came along, isolating us in our homes, loneliness was already an issue for many. Forbes Magazine (Feb 24, 2023) reports a stunning statistic:

“For example, 58 percent of Americans reported feeling lonely consistently. A few years ago, U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy wrote about loneliness in his book, Together, where he reports that loneliness is on the scale of the opioid epidemic or obesity. Dr. Murthy also sees loneliness as a root cause and contributor to many epidemics sweeping the world today, from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. Harvard magazine reports that the heightened risk of mortality from loneliness equals that of smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic. The Aspen Institute reports that lonely people likely become ill, experience cognitive decline, and die earlier.”

It is evident that our country is experiencing an epidemic of loneliness, and no doubt our nation’s dismissal of God has contributed to this.

Another concerning factor is our exchange of face-to-face interactions for interacting more through social media. While we may be full of written conversation, we lack the depth in our relationships that are built on sharing in person and connecting from observing those we interact with. While we may have thousands of friends on social media platforms, we may have very few with whom we spend quality time. We lack valuable relationships in which we can enjoy one another; we lose out on fellowship and become disconnected from our brothers and sisters in Christ (and sometimes even our own family members).

And so, while we may feel like social people online, we may also feel extremely lonely in our hearts. This is a specific area Satan loves to target, whispering lies to us, causing us to have doubts regarding life’s purpose, which can lead to self-esteem issues, harmful habits and even suicidal thoughts.

Being alone in some cases cannot be avoided. Death can leave us without our lifelong companion; our marriage may fall apart; perhaps we have not been given a life mate; or our days may be quiet while family members are at work. But we all need to make time for relationships, social connection, and investing in people. We all need to feel loved, valued, seen and heard. Fellowship is not possible for the social isolator, yet God longs for us to experience fellowship, which is a sure way to fill a lot of the loneliness we experience.

I’ve personally sat in a room full of people and still felt immensely alone. It’s a hard thing to explain unless you’ve felt it, but loneliness is often a heart condition more than it is a social condition. We must get to the root of our lonely feelings and do what’s necessary to heal our hearts and allow people in. God made us for relationship—with Him and with others. If you’re lonely today, ask yourself some questions about your loneliness:

Why am I lonely?
Have I invested in relationships with others?
Am I approachable?
Do I ask questions and listen, or only talk about myself?
Do I have several friends I can share my heart with?
Am I open to being vulnerable?
Do I isolate myself, and then feel like no one cares about me?
What thoughts has Satan whispered to me in my loneliness?
Do I spend time each day with the Lord?
Has my loneliness caused me to have dark thoughts?
Am I willing to receive counseling to help get to the bottom of my loneliness?

Our prayer for this study is that each of us may be more aware of our personal loneliness and discover the reasons for it, and to be more aware of the loneliness of others and how we might draw close to offer companionship. We hope you’ll join us!

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply