Lonely in a Crowd

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Lonely in a Crowd
Rev. Henry Williams, Jr.

Because God created us to be social creatures, the first subjective emotion that God addressed in humanity was loneliness.  In Genesis 2:18, the Bible reads, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (KJV).  Loneliness can be described in humans as a feeling of emptiness resulting from an inadequate quality and quantity of social relationships. Our genesis required social interaction; embedded into the fibers of existence is the need to have social contact with other humans. Although animals and pets have been known to bring much joy to people, at the end of the day, people need people. The New American Commentary writes on its commentary of Genesis 2:18 “God has created human life to have fellowship with him, but also to be a social entity, building relationships with other human beings. People will not live until they love, giving themselves away to others on their own level. Isolation is not the divine norm for human beings; community is the creation of God.” The major premise of human living is sharing with one another on a subjective as well as an objective front.

 

In spite of all of the social advantages that are available to us, we are becoming lonelier than previous generations.  It has been estimated that approximately 60 million people in the United States, or twenty percent of the total population, feel lonely.  Another study found that 12% of Americans have no one with whom to spend free time or to discuss important matters.  In addition to this, other research suggests that this rate has been increasing over time. The General Social Survey found that, between 1985 and 2004, the number of people the average American discusses important matters with decreased from three to one. Additionally, the number of Americans with no one to discuss important matters tripled. These figure show that there is an increasing number of lonely people in the world, in our country, in our states, in our cities, in our homes, and consequently, in our churches.

 

Loneliness is categorized as being either transient or chronic.  This is more commonly identified as state or trait.  Transient—or state—is temporary loneliness, whereas chronic—or trait—is prolonged loneliness.  It must be said that being alone does not always mean that a person is lonely, just as being in a crowd does not equate to non-loneliness. An individual can be alone and complete, and on the other hand, surrounded  by people yet empty and incomplete, thus suffering with loneliness.

 

Because loneliness is subjective and intrinsic, its affect on humans can be met by an internal relationship with mankind’s Creator.  In the Garden of Eden, prior to sin’s entrance, God saw all things good except loneliness.  Therefore, it is a concern of God that we not be lonely.  As Jesus was about to face His death, He said to His disciples, “I will not leave you alone as orphans, I will send you another Comforter.”  The Holy Spirit of God meets us at the place of our loneliness, and befriends us to become an internal and external confidant.

 

Pastor Williams welcomes questions and comments at Macedonia.mbc@gmail.com.