Loneliness In It’s Many Forms.
by Nick Bishop
Around Christmas time and New Year, for most of us, it will have been a time for family and friends. Sadly, this will not have been the case for all people in our community. For example, according to the ‘Campaign to End Loneliness’, there are 9 million people in the UK who experience some form of loneliness.
Loneliness takes all forms and affects people regardless of age and background. In fact, loneliness, living alone and having poor connections is as bad for you as smoking. Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease, and depression. Loneliness is likely to increase the risk of death by 29%.
Of course, loneliness is not just about being on your own. You can be alone in a crowd. Many of us have experienced occasions when in the company of others, we have still felt lonely.
Space and time is something we all need; however, humans are social creatures and so need the company of others. Mother Theresa said, “The most terrible illness is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved”.
Loneliness today further occurs, because of technology. We all sit on our i-phones, i-pads, etc and people have become more disconnected, which in the long run, cannot be good.
Disconnected people and communities according to the Eden Project Initiative, ‘The Big Lunch’, could be costing the economy £32 billion each year.
Government cutbacks to services that individuals or communities need hasn’t helped those who feel isolated, but that is not the full story. Years ago, communities were more connected and interactive, but sadly, by and large, this is not the case today.
The Campaign to End Loneliness recommends the following steps for the lonely:
Think about yourself.
Look after yourself.
Share your time and skills with others.
Find out what activities you can be involved in your community.
Jesus had a heart for the lonely, the oppressed, the left behind, etc and so as Christians, we are called to do the same.
What can we do as Christians to help the lonely? We can certainly be more neighbourly to someone we know who lives alone. We can get involved with groups like, ‘The Campaign to End Loneliness’, get involved with our church or charities in outreach to lonely people, and also find out what the government is doing alleviate loneliness.
While loneliness may never be defeated we as individuals or as part of something bigger can make a real difference.
Here are 25 helpful Scriptures for dealing with the challenge of loneliness:
God bless you. xxx
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