Loneliness . . . it seems to be something common in our culture. Even in all our connectedness with social media, we're lonely.
All around us people talk about feeling alone in a room full of people. We're looking for connection with people, but we struggle to find it.
If you think about it, becoming part of God's family should be a cure for loneliness. We become part of a family. It's something that should seem to fill that place where we need to be connected with others.
But, as I was driving home from church on the weekend, I started to wonder why it seems like the church and the family of God isn't the cure for loneliness it seems like it should be. And whether the expectation that it would is realistic or not.
And then I started to wonder if maybe the reason why so many of us who have chosen to follow Jesus are still feeling lonely is because of things we do or don't do. We get so caught up in trying to put up the best us that we can that we keep ourselves distant from everyone around us.
Instead of really allowing people into our lives, we only allow them to see a small part of us - the best part of us. And we remain lonely because the connection we long for goes beyond just letting people see a part of us.
We long to really be known. And that means the good and the not so good about us and our lives.
When we don't allow people to really know us, we remain lonely. Because we're not meeting our need for real connection with others.
I know this has been me often. I've walked through life and been a part of all kinds of things with churches and still felt very lonely. And it's because I wasn't willing to let people really know me.
So, how do we change this?
We have to take a risk. We have to allow people to really know us. If we don't, we will never meet our need for connection and we will continue to go through life lonely.