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Leave Alone, well enough…

May 30, 2012

“But I don’t feel alone”, you might say, “I have a great family, many friends, I love my church and I never really feel isolated.” First off, praise God in His mercy He has allowed you to enjoy what few in this world have for any long period of time. There are three VERY important things to remember if you find yourself in a period of emotional relational satisfaction.

First, give God the glory everyday for the blessings you have received, rightly ascribe glory to Him in your situation. The fact that you feel satisfied relationally is not due to the fact that you’re so stinkin cute, or that you’re the nicest person on the planet. The fact that you experience the blessing of good relationships is because God has so blessed you, do not add to this blessing the sin of pride by trying to take the credit for what you enjoy.

Second, Be a comfort to others who are less fortunate, there are two ways to comfort:

-One, take care of those who have, through circumstances or situations, lost relationships and now are experiencing isolation and loneliness. Being part of a community, ie the church, or your family, comes with responsibilities. Both Paul and James admonish those in the church to look after widows and orphans, those who are truly without anyone to rely upon. This can occur by inviting a widow in your neighborhood over for dinner, taking the time to have conversations. This might even mean adopting an orphan who has no one to call father or mother.

-Two. Be sensitive to those around you who may be less secure in their relationships and may not be as satisfied. This is akin to the weaker brother/stronger brother discussion in Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8:13, we do not flaunt our freedom in the face of others, we don’t lord over others, rather we are sensitive to the fact that we may have those among us who need prayer and care.

Third, Be on your guard. Loneliness is not something that we leave in the dirt behind us when we reach some plateau of relational perfection. Many things can suddenly afflict us with a sense of isolation and a feeling of loneliness. Outside factors can contribute to sudden isolation: deaths, being fired, being dumped, being betrayed, business travel. Inner factors can also lead to the lonely experience: sin against God, harboring bitterness and resentment, fatigue, illness, and anger can all make us feel isolated from God and others. The Bible calls us to be sober-minded and prepared for action. In times of plenty we take in a harvest and store up provision for times of famine. Build your life around the Word of God and take comfort from the promises contained therein, commit them to memory for there will come a time when you will need to call to mind the promises of God. Those who meditate on the Word of the Lord day and night will be like trees planted by streams of waters, able to weather any draught. (Psalm 1)

Continually live in Christ, striving to enjoy the peace of God that passes all understanding, His peace will guard your hearts and minds. (Phil 4:7) Remember to put away all matters of deceit and strife, anything that puts difficulty between yourself and others, so that you might continue to enjoy the body of Christ, being of one mind with others, having among yourselves the mind of Christ. (Phil 2:5-11)

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