by Rick Warren
“The Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear.” (2 Timothy 2:17a NLT)
When you’re lonely, you need to focus on others and not yourself.
The loneliest person in the world is the guy who’s self-centered and wrapped up in himself. God wired us to give our lives away, to help others, to think of others and not just ourselves.
If you want to break out of loneliness, stop saying, “I don’t have any friends,” and start being a friend. Stop focusing on yourself and instead give yourself away. Instead of focusing on yourself, you need to emphasize others’ needs.
Loneliness is often a fear of love. We’re afraid to be open. We’re afraid to be vulnerable. We’re afraid to share how we really feel. We’re afraid to step out and risk a relationship because we might be rejected, and we know what that pain feels like.
When we fear love, we don’t give ourselves away, and we’re guaranteeing ourselves loneliness. We set ourselves up in a self-imposed prison of solitary confinement that is absolutely unnecessary. Give your life away!
When Paul was in prison and about to be executed, he said all his friends had left him, but God was with him. That gave him the strength to reach out to others and complete the work God had given him: “The Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear” (2 Timothy 2:17a NLT).
The key to overcoming loneliness is to stop building walls and start building bridges. Stop building walls between you and other people. Start building bridges. Take a risk. Begin to help other people.
Years ago, Corrie Ten Boom was engaged to be married to a guy who suddenly broke off the engagement and married her best friend. She was devastated. She came home crushed and lonely and isolated. She asked her father, “What do I do with a blocked love?” He said, “Whenever you have a blocked love, re-channel it.”
There are thousands of people in the world who need your love. Re-channel it. If you hold it in, it’s going to dry up and wither away. You need to find a ministry, a place you can use your talents and gifts to help other people.
Give yourself away. When you do that, the loneliness will dissipate.