Loneliness has been referred to as the world’s most common mental health problem. It is one of the most universal sources of human suffering. People in all walks of life, experience it regardless of the culture, class, race, or sex. It is a condition that affects all ages at some season in their life and can be temporary, seasonal or never ending depending on the manner on which it is dealt.
Loneliness involves feelings of inner emptiness, isolation and intense longing for relationship, though the environment in which the lonely lives is conducive to and facilitates the opposite. There may be multitudes of lively people compatibly around with lots of fun activities , still they are lonely and find it difficult to get involved in the Joys of life and society. They can be living in the best country the world, in the largest cities with the brightest lights or the most exotic beach, but still suffer. The lonely feels left out, unwanted, rejected or misunderstood, saddened discouraged, restless and anxious, with the desire to be recognized and needed by at least some one. They usually have low self-image, lack self-confidence and fear rejection; hence they do not have the courage to initiate or build relationships.
Man was created for relationship and not to be alone and lonely. Relationships have been one of the major contributing factors that contribute to the fulfillment of the destiny of our lives. Shortly after God created Adam He said it is not good for man to be alone, so he made a suitable helper. They were to maintain a personal intimate relationship with God, with each other and be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Adam became very ambitious tending the garden leaving enough room for Eve to be lonely. Satan sneaked in the gaps of loneliness and was able to have an influence on Eve so as to eat the apple. They both ate the apple, broke intimacy with with God and sin placed even a larger gap between man and woman. Hence the birth of loneliness.
Though rarely discussed in scriptures, we can see loneliness took a hold of Noah, Moses, Job, Nehemiah, Elijah, Saul, David, Jesus, John, the apostle Paul and still it’s like an increasing plague in today’s society. The increase of technology where most people live on the web, computer or television, rather than interacting with live human beings in the life of society, has contributed in a greater way. Loneliness drives people to all kinds of perverted and relationships. We can see human effort to solve loneliness through alcoholism, rape, divorce and fornication homosexuals, workaholics, exhibitionist behaviors, vacation trips, shopping malls racking up their credit cards, diverse addictions, etc. Loneliness can be found more prevalent older and single people.
There are several causes of loneliness. It can emerge in times of transitions in times of their life, when people have to move for various reasons from city to city due to employment or education, different developmental stages in life, when children have to move out of their home, broken relationships, divorce and separation . Psychological ailments also bring on loneliness. Low self esteem, where people see themselves the wrong way, shyness and inability to communicate, self defeating attitudes, anger of bitterness of some past disappointment fear and situational and spiritual causes.
Loneliness can be overcome by first admitting the problem. However because of pride and lack of knowledge of its subtleness and danger most people fail to deal with it. With proper probing the causes and the lonely being honestly transparent the true cause of loneliness can come discovered. Next the lonely must be brought to see themselves the way they really are through God’s point view and not the way they see themselves or society or their circumstances make them feel. Next, the appropriate steps need to be taken to increase their faith and trust in God, their thinking has to be changed to the way God thinks about them.
Further, they need to get guidance in developing self-esteem, learning social skills and be encouraged to step out and getting into the life of society. They need to be encouraged to take risks and reach out to the right people in a healthy environment, where the chances of rejection are lower and acceptance is greater. Though not perfect the church is where the people are more accepting, forgiving, patent, and tenderhearted tolerant and helpful. For this reason it can be a safer place where the lonely can start overcoming loneliness. Still other groups which offer similar help.