Psalm 68:6 (NIV) God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Loneliness can be a prison of sorts…in the sense that you can be trapped in that condition. When you are lonely and you finally get around people or another person, you can literally drive them away if you are overly focused on your own problems. If someone starts listening to you, it’s easy to go on too long and into too much detail. The next thing you know—the person is backing away and finding reasons why they’ve “gotta go now”.
If you think about what makes you want to be around someone—it’s usually the fact that they have listened to you and made you feel they were truly interested in what you had to say.
The first key to changing your condition of loneliness, is to become genuinely interested in others, ask sincere questions, and listen to their answers—without interrupting or offering your own opinion. This is a big challenge, since we all want to talk about what interests us…the big “I”.
The next key to changing your condition of loneliness is cutting off relationships that are destructive and have had a pattern of hurting you. I’m not advising you to get a divorce—that is between you and God. But, if you are involved with people who have driven you to depression and/or addiction, then you need to let go of the ones who keep pushing you to those areas and look for positive, nurturing relationships.
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Fourth, try to find something to like about yourself. It isn’t easy to be around someone who is in a “self-destruct” mode and full of self-hatred. If you want to have friends, you need to be nice. God made you and there has to be something about yourself that you can appreciate. Ask God to show you the good things He sees in you, if you can’t think of anything on your own.
Fifth, delight yourself in the Lord. People who spend time in the presence of the Lord are promised joy. If there is no joy in your life, you must be spending more time concentrating on yourself than on the one who made you in His own likeness. Invest some time everyday into thinking about His power and majesty and thanking Him for anything and everything you can.
The sixth thing is: Get out of the house and go help someone who is worse off than you are. It is a hard step to take, but if you ask God to show you who you could help–He will give you a purpose and it will help you get your mind off your own troubles.
The seventh suggestion I will give you is to pray for others. There is a story in the Bible about a prosperous man named ‘Job’. He lost all of his children and developed severe physical problems. His own wife told him to curse God and die. Even his friends were critical of him and suggested that he was being punished somehow. Job was broken-hearted and wanted his life to be over. But, when he started praying for his friends—those who had offended him—God turned things around and gave him a whole new family, restored health, and more prosperity than ever.
Declaration: God is setting me free from the prison of loneliness to be a happy member of His family. He is giving me new strength each day.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.