What Causes Loneliness In People

October 6, 2010
What Causes Loneliness in People?
“Loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon…is the central and inevitable fact of human existence. When we examine the moments, acts, and statements of all kinds of people – not only the grief and ecstasy of the greatest poets, but also the huge unhappiness of the average soul, as evidenced by the innumerable strident words of abuse, hatred, contempt, mistrust and scorn that forever rate upon our ears as the man swarm passes us in the streets – we find, I think, they are all suffering from the same thing. The final cause of their complaint is loneliness.” These are words from one of America’s greatest authors, Thomas Wolfe. “Loneliness is the most devastating malady of this age” was what Dr. Paul had to say about loneliness. There are millions of people crying on the inside because they are lonely. Both literature and music write about the subject of loneliness. People from all walks of life suffer from loneliness. There are numerous songs that made the top of the charts written about loneliness: “Only the Lonely,” “Alone Again,” “Lonely Girl” and “I’m So Lonely I Could Cry.”
God in His word knew of mans loneliness when He wrote, “It is not good that man should be alone”. In Psalm 102: 6-7, the author of the Psalm knew how loneliness felt. David says about himself, “I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof.” (New Living Translation, Online Bible Translations)
Men and women can live together may live together for many years, yet in their hearts be very lonely. There is a vast difference between alone and lonely. There will come times that we all may need to be alone. But you can be lonely without being alone.
Loneliness is insulation in spirit. It is feeling that we are cut off, unnoticed, uncared for, unneeded, and sometimes the feeling of being unnecessary. One cannot deny the existence of loneliness. It is throughout our culture. In many cities, they have “Lonely Hearts Clubs” where lonely people get together. What are some of the causes of loneliness? First, sorrow can cause loneliness. These are people who have tried to make friends and faced the sorrow of rejection. Sometimes there is loneliness because of the sorrow of the loss of a mate or best friend. Secondly, low self-esteem can be a cause of loneliness. The wounds of loneliness can be self-afflicted by one that has a very low self-esteem. If we haven’t accepted ourselves, we will have a problem of accepting others. Therefore, we build wall instead of bridges. We keep people out instead of letting people in our lives. Some people are lonely because they just want to be lonely. We call them “loners”. Thirdly, selfishness can cause loneliness. Some people are so self-centered and in love with themselves to the point that no one wants to be around them. Fourthly, success can be a cause of loneliness. We have heard the phrase, “it is lonely at the top.” Some of the more lonely people are the most successful people. They climb, climb, and climb up the ladder and left all their friends behind. Fifthly, society can be the cause of loneliness. Our society has de-personalized the human being. We have to face it. To many people and companies, we are nothing more than a number. This just “being a number” plays a big part in loneliness. Lastly, sin can be a cause of loneliness. After Adam and Even sinned in the Garden of Eden and were cast out of the garden, the first emotion they felt was loneliness. They then tried to hide from God and were lonely.
Loneliness can do great damage to the individual. It can cause great physical damage. Research is being done as to how many heart attacks have been caused because of depression and loneliness. It can also cause great emotional damage. Loneliness is one of the primary reasons people seek out a psychiatrist. People with suicidal tendencies are lonely people.
Loneliness is a vacuum and void that is many people’s lives today. People are trying to fill this void with everything imaginable. Some try pills. Some try pleasure. Some try position. Some try possessions and many other things. I see teenagers in our church that are so lonely. Is there not an answer? Is there not a way out?
As a Christian, there are two practical solutions to loneliness. First, to defeat loneliness, one must reach up to the Lord. Jesus understands our loneliness. He understands what it feels like to be rejected. He can relate to the “no one cares for me feeling”. Jesus came into the world so that we would never have to be alone again. John 14:23 states, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone love Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” ( New Living Translation, Online Bible Translations). As a child of God, I have the present presence of God in my life. He says to me: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:15) (King James Version, Online Bible Translation). Every day I enjoy the continuing presence of God in my life. With His presence, I will never be bound by loneliness. Second, to defeat loneliness, reach out to others that are suffering. Look for someone else who is lonely and be a blessing to them. If we can learn to see the needs of others, it will take our minds off our loneliness, and we will see that we are needed.
So one can see, loneliness is a difficult thing. It is not something we can defeat by ourselves. Let us seek the Lord, walk with Him daily, and realize that “He never leaves us nor forsakes us.”

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