Perception & Performance 9: Loneliness - Does Anyone Love Me?
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Perception Performance 9 Loneliness – Does Anyone Love Me?
I. It's Not Good to Be Alone (Solitude enables to know ourselves, which is the basis knowing others and of being known cx digital)
Perception that no one loves/cares about us which leads to feeling pain, isolation and diminished worth/value (spirals down to depression).
Health issues; Loneliness highest=college students 66%, divorced, welfare recipients, single moms, rural students, housewives, elderly.
Veterans 10% combat, yet 50% PTSD claims; 22 kill themselves daily-dysfunctional community (stressed rats recover 3 wks)
II. God created us to be in community/unity with Him and others (and one often precludes the other). See Intimacy with God series
A. Separation & Commonality (basis of friendship); Ps 27:4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of LORD all the days of my life, to behold the delightfulness of the LORD, and to inquire/seek piel in His temple.
Mk 8:34 Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 what will it profit a man if he gains...
Mk 10:29 Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, 30 who shall not receive 100x now in this time --- houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions --- and in the age to come, eternal life. [NB now and then]
Js 4:4 friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God
B. Serving God often causes loneliness; Moses, David, Elijah, Jeremiah, Jesus, Paul; Isa 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not...
2Tim 2:15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me ('Ones' diligently sought refreshed served) 4:9 Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, has departed...Crescens...Titus... 11 Only Luke is with me. 16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear.
Mt 28:19 Going, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe/obey all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.
Ps 142:1 I cry out to the LORD w/ my voice; w/ my voice to the LORD I make my supplication. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble. 3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path...
4 Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.
5 I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.
6 Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I.
7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me.
Jer 15:15 O LORD, You know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors...Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. 16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. 17 I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, for You have filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain perpetual..20..For I am with you to save you and deliver you,"
III. TOYL: First be a Friend of God (become worthy, valuable, lovable, other-centered as needs met by God) then a friend of others
Objective is not to have your worth validated by fickle humans, but built and enhanced by a rlshp with the Creator of the Universe (& u)
Biblical rlshps: Mountain Climb vs Masquerade Ball (can't know or be known w/ masks); Pr 18: 24 A man who has friends must be friendly
IV. God designed families and the Body to meet our needs for intimacy/trust, but never look to finite humans, but rather to God who provides
Eph 4:15 speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head --- Christ ---16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, acc to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the Body for edifying itself in love.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
Questions for Reflection, Discussion, Response:
1. How can someone be lonely in a crowd of commonality? How does our expectation/desire influence our perception?
2. What constitutes an intimate beneficial rlshp (TOYL ...stimulate Christlikeness)? What fllshp does light have with darkness (1Jn 1)?
3. Why do people crave rlshps and intimacy, yet often deeply hurt or are hurt by their “friends”? What's the rlshp 'twn love and loyalty.
4. How do you prevent people provided by God for your benefit from becoming idols? Would you lay down your life for your friends?
5. What's the “worldly” approach to loneliness? How does it differ from the Biblical solution of loving God and then others as yourself?