Loneliness and Coping With It

by COGwriter

In my early years, my father would sometimes play music from the late rock and roll star, Roy Orbison.

One of Roy Obison's songs was titled Only the Lonely. Here are a few of the lyrics to that song:

Only the lonely
Know the way I feel tonight
Only the lonely
Know this feeling ain't right

Yes, we do not want to feel lonely. In the song's case, it was essentially expressing loneliness that came after a romantic breakup. He wanted empathy and sympathy--and hoped to get it by complaining. He did not want to be a giver--he just wanted to get people to feel sorry for him.

Now, quoting that does not mean that my dad or I were particularly lonely, because we were not. My dad was simply a Roy Orbison fan.

That being said, in that song, Roy Orbison was hinting that there would be many people who were lonely and they would understand some of his feelings.

And there are many that are lonely.

Loneliness is different than being alone, though some people experience both of those a lot.

Is there any cure?

Well, yes, there are steps you take take to better cope with loneliness, as well as being alone.

First, let us see something about being alone from the Book of Genesis:

18 And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." (Genesis 2:18)

So, permanently being alone is not God's plan. He made it clear in the first book of the Bible that humans are not intended to just be by themselves. Though, marriage itself, is not required (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:8). God does not want people to be hermits.

Those who are totally alone do not build the type of godly character they need to. People who are alone often do not see their flaws, and tend to try to wrongly justify the flaws they partially admit to themselves. Totally alone people tend to be selfish, including in many ways that they do not recognize. The lack of regular contact with others reduces their opportunities to love others as well.

The Bible teaches:

31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)


Humans being totally alone without other humans! In the re-creation sequence, Genesis 2:18 fits with Genesis 1:27--where it is said God made humans male and female.

And after that, everything was good.

Being totally alone is not good.

God knew that, and He knew about how loneliness would affect people.

Perhaps it should also be pointed out that the type of monastic orders many are involved in are unbiblical. Noted historian Latourette wrote about practices in the Greco-Roman churches:

Although it has been prominent in the churches in which the majority of Christians have been enrolled, monasticism was unknown in the first two centuries of Christianity...In a least one place in the New Testament those who forbade Christians to marry ... were deemed untrue to the faith. (Latourette K.S. A History of Christianity, Volume 1: Beginnings to 1500. Harper Collins, San Francisco, 1975, p. 223).

Furthermore, the perhaps the first group affiliated with Christianity to endorse a portion of the monastic lifestyle was the heretical Marcionites, a group that Roman Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, the true Church of God, and others consider to have been heretics (see also Marcion: The First Protestant?).

While there are times to be alone, cutting oneself off from contact with others for lengthy periods of time is not biblically wise.

As far as loneliness itself goes, Dexter Faulkner of the old Worldwide Church of God, who I met a few times, wrote the following:

Some describe it as a crippler. Others say it's a complex, gnawing empty feeling. Regardless of description, loneliness is too often prevalent in both married and single life. (Faulkner DH. Just one more thing: Employ two principles in combating loneliness. Worldwide News, September 13, 1982)

Before going further, let me state that I often tell people I am married by choice as I did not want to live alone. And, no having been married for four decades, I personally do not feel lonely.

But some, married or single, do.

Dexter Faulkner wrote:

No matter what the origin, loneliness produces self-isolation. A person can feel lonely even in the midst of a crowd . Yet, no person in God's Church need ever feel lonely.

Often self-induced

Loneliness is an emotional, mental state. Being lonely is far different from being alone.

As Henry David Thoreau once wrote:

"I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will ."

Solitude is at times constructive.

When I write the bulk of the COGwriter.com news posts, I am alone. Of course, since I pray first, I am not really alone--God is everywhere--but not having others around is often an easier way to write or perform some research.

Jesus sometimes would be alone intentionally as well. Notice the following account:

23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. (Matthew 14:23)

Speaking of Jesus, notice something the Apostle Paul wrote about Him:

5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." 6 So we may boldly say:

"The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear. (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Jesus will always be with us, and we should not fear loneliness. Furthermore, notice something else the Apostle Paul wrote:

3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:3-6)

No, Jesus will not give up on you as long as you do not give up on Him. Notice also that Paul was also stating he had fellowship in the gospel with those he was writing--you do not always need to be with others to have fellowship.But that also does not mean you should never have direct contact either.

That being said, notice the following published in the old Good News magazine:

Loneliness Defined.

But just what is loneliness — and what are its causes? Dr. Sadler describes the emotion: "The first and most outstanding feature of loneliness is a painful feeling, sometimes experienced as a sharp ache, as in moments of grief or separation; but it can also be a dull, lingering form of stress that seems to tear a person down." He adds that "One can be lonely for another person, a group, a home, a homeland, a tradition, a type of activity, and even a sense of meaning, or God" (op. cit., p. 58). Sadler has categorized loneliness into five dimensions: interpersonal, social, cultural, psychological and cosmic. The first, interpersonal, is the most familiar type — where one misses an intimate relationship with another very special person such as a spouse or close friend. Social loneliness is a feeling of being cut off from a group one considers important, such as a church or fraternity. Cultural loneliness occurs when one feels separated or alienated from a way of life or system of traditions. This is the type of loneliness suffered by minorities who feel they aren't part of the mainstream of the dominant society. It is also felt by those who see their cultural heritage rapidly changing or disintegrating around them. Psychological loneliness refers to a person's being out of touch with themselves and their true feelings. And cosmic loneliness is a yearning for an ultimate source of life and meaning, or God. (Ritter C. Coping with Loneliness Good News Magazine April 1976 Volume: Vol XXV, No. 4 QR CodeCoping with Loneliness. Good News, April 1976)

Many are lonely. The GN article says:

The affliction of loneliness has reached epidemic proportions in our society. Striking both young and old without warning, it provides psychiatrist and huckster alike with a fertile field in which to work. Why so much loneliness? Is it due to some personal deficiency in lonely people, or is it caused by outside factors beyond their control? And — most important of all — when loneliness hits close to home, how can you personally cope with it?

People will do practically anything to avoid loneliness. The moderately lonely in our midst join astronomy clubs, take night classes, or have somebody's computer fix them up with blind dates. Others seek relief on the shuffleboard court, the park bench, or at the nearest Arthur Murray's. Lonely people avidly devour thousands of copies of pop psychology books on "Intimacy Made Easy," and if they're young and affluent they rent apartments in Marina Del Rey or some counterpart community and jump feet-first into the frantic singles scene. (Ritter C. Coping with Loneliness Good News Magazine April 1976 Volume: Vol XXV, No. 4 QR CodeCoping with Loneliness. Good News, April 1976)

It is likely that many that have joined the LGBTQ+ crowd in this century have done so, at least partially, because of feelings of loneliness.

The GN article continues:

Some of them {the lonely} haunt the encounter group circuit -- bouncing from therapy to therapy in search of the magic cure, their loneliness temporarily eased by contact with throwaway companions. Lonely people who strike out everywhere else run explicit ads in the "Personal" column of their local underground newspaper. And the really hardcore lonely may end up patronizing a new service called Conversation, where a trained nonexpert will listen to them talk their Lonely hearts out for only $8 an hour. (Ritter C. Coping with Loneliness Good News Magazine April 1976 Volume: Vol XXV, No. 4 QR CodeCoping with Loneliness. Good News, April 1976)

Yes, people will go to many secular sources to try to cope with loneliness.

Dexter Faulkner wrote:

Solitude is necessary to meditate. But when a person desires company or someone to share his feelings with and finds no one, that person becomes lonely.

Too many painful feelings of loneliness arise from indisciplined thinking. For one reason or another, a person might start believing he is socially deficient.

"Nobody would like me if they found out what I' m really like ," he thinks.

Perhaps some form of rejection leads to this attitude. Whatever the case, the problem can be overcome. A person can become so self-conscious that he eventually programs himself to be overly cautious or shy. Or, he might overreact and become loud and boisterous- trying in vain to cover up a developed inferiority complex.

Both ways come from thinking in a "get" mode. Over-concern about appearance or social position feeds on itself. As humans, we simply don't have the ability to always be right, always say the right things, or have the perfect facial features or figure.

lf we're not careful, through vanity we can lose sight of the gifts God has given us and focus on things we don't have. The first sign of this appears when we start reflecting too much on the past.

Problem defined

Mature people live in the present , and plan and look forward to new goals and experiences. They realize that at difficult times, especially when dealing with people, life can be painful. And they accept it.

With this attitude of acceptance (Philippians 4 :11-12), mature Christians can turn unpleasant moments into profitable and positive experiences (I Peter 4:12-13).

Here is some Paul wrote:

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13)

Yes, at times we may suffer need, but we can do all through Christ that strengthens us. We need to ask:

2 ... Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"?

6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

"God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble."

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:2-8)

So, no, we are not compromise with the world to deal with loneliness. We are not to marry outside the faith either as we are not to "be unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 6:14) to deal with loneliness or passions.

Was there loneliness in the old WCG when there were over 500 local congregations?


It's time we came to grips with a very real problem in the Church of God today! Christ's Body should be "one big happy family," but the truth is that many of our members are far from happy. Many in the Church are lonely and discouraged. They feel isolated, trapped, cut off from the rest of the Body. You may well be reading this article because you have your own private struggle with loneliness and would like to know what to do about it.

Who's lonely?

Who is lonely in God's Church? Lots of people are! The people who feel this way most are those who are cut off from the support the natural family usually provides. This group includes those the Bible calls "the fatherless and widows" — women and children without husbands and fathers, divorced and separated persons of both sexes and the elderly. People battling sore trials such as alcoholism, chronic illness and long term unemployment also often feel terribly alone in their struggles. We need to realize that many in our midst bear up under enormous physical, mental, emotional and spiritual duress with precious little support from anyone else.

Through long days and even longer nights they face their problems alone. The feelings of isolation and loneliness they experience as a result can be an even more painful trial than the original problem itself.

Cindy DeStefano isn't in our Church, but her statements in a Los Angeles, Calif., Times article could speak for a lot of people who are. Cindy, 30, is confined to a wheelchair in a rest home, a victim of multiple sclerosis. She longs for companionship with persons her own age: "I can't use my legs, but that's no big deal. I think that people who can walk should show people who are handicapped that they are wanted. "Being here is... a bummer. It gets bad at night and on weekends when I have to be alone here. When I hear people say they're going to a party tonight or to a wedding reception, that's when it really hits me, and I wish the invitations, the people were there. "So I cry. I cry a lot... There's hardly anybody to talk to" ("Loneliness: The Me Nobody Knows," Los Angeles Times, Dec. 8, 1978).

We have brethren in the Church of God who, like Cindy, cry a lot out of loneliness and discouragement, brethren who desperately need our help!

Satan preys on the lonely

Being alone doesn't automatically mean being lonely. Some people prefer their solitude and manage quite well with little outside support. But why did God say of the first human being, "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Gen. 2:18)?

What is not good for most people about being alone? While we all need times of privacy, too much time alone tends to foster inward, introspective thinking and brooding that focuses the person too much on himself or herself. This is especially true if such aloneness comes in the wake of a personal trauma such as the death of a mate or the loss of one's job or health.Then the person's thoughts are almost inevitably backward looking.

They are full of blame, self-criticism, guilt and shame — the perfect climate for Satan's influence! Satan preys on the lonely. They are perhaps his easiest victims. Knowing the devil's devices (II Cor. 2:11), we may be sure he seeks to heap on even more negativism until he has the person so "down in the dumps" he wants to quit on everything, including life itself. This is no doubt at least part of the reason that God intended we all have companionship. The truth is that most of us don't function all that well entirely alone, cut off from support and encouragement from others.

The biblical antidote

There is a lot we can know and actively do in God's Church about the common human problem of loneliness. The solution lies in one big, beautiful Christian concept and practice called fellowship. It's unique to true Christianity. There's nothing like it available in the world around us, and it strikes to the heart of the problem of loneliness.

Acts 2:42 tells us that not only did the early New Testament Church continue in the apostles' doctrine, but also in fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." That Church wasn't only bound and knit together by ideas, concepts and values, but also by a special kind of camaraderie and closeness that flowed through the Church, making it a special community of believers.

I know we have all experienced some true fellowship in God's Church over the years, and I also know that we've lost some of it in recent years. Jesus specifically warned that "the love of many shall wax cold" (Matt. 24:12). I can't help but wonder if we have not already seen clear trends in that direction in the Church. (Albert DJ. When You Need a Friend. Good News, February 1980)

Yes, the direction in the final years of the old WCG was often downward as more and more members were not converted, and most of the true members became Laodicean.

As far as thoughts go. the Bible teaches:

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

Notice something the old WCH taught about the origin of negative thoughts:

The origin of negative thoughts

To conquer depressing and discouraging thoughts, we must first recognize the cause of such thoughts. We need to realize that negative thoughts ultimately originate with Satan. Satan can capitalize on the difficult circumstances that happen in our lives. You or a family member may be sick. You may be experiencing intense pressure on the job, or may even be out of a job. Or you may be wrestling with another severe trial in your life.

The devil can use these trials and negative episodes to generate feelings of dejection. Satan, the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), can also broadcast negative feelings and moods into our minds even when there is no circumstance or apparent reason for us to be "low." These thoughts can enter our minds quite subtly.

For example, you might start thinking about all the things you don't have but would like to possess, but for which you lack the money. Or that your personality or health is not as dynamic as that of some of your friends. Or that you get lonely sometimes. Matters like these start to fill your mind. Before too long you can become depressed without even knowing why. The way to protect ourselves from this kind of attack is to be constantly on guard against such depressing thoughts. And when they do start to grip us, to seek the counteracting help of God (Jas. 4:7).

God is the one who will help us control them (II Cor. 10:4-5). We have to trust God to help us in times of discouragement. This involves drawing on the power of God's Holy Spirit — the mind, attitude and nature of God Himself. We have to walk with God. (Krautmann P, Siston J. How to Overcome Depression and Discouragement. Good New Magazine, January 1984)

Here is a way to quickly deal with the negative thoughts and attitudes:

6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

"God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble."

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:6-9)

Yes, consciously pray to be closer to God and resist Satan's negative attitudes.

Don't think you do not need God's help--we all do!

God is love (1 John 4:8) and loves you. God will help you. And even if you stumble, He will forgive if you confess your sins--so do not give up!

The Apostle Peter wrote:

9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:9)

Your brethren around the world are also struggling with problems, and many are like what you have suffered. Resist Satan's negative and selfish ways.

Now, back to that article by David Albert:

Fellowship defined Just what is fellowship? It is more than friendship, as good as friendship may be. Fellowship is friendship with a special spiritual component that can only come from a common calling, spirit and way of life. It flows out of the oneness described in Ephesians 4:4-6:

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all."

It's a common bond that comes from being members of God's one true Church. But we can break fellowship down further and isolate specific factors that produce it. The first and most important by far is not just human companionship! The apostle John made that clear,

"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye may also have fellowship with us" (I John 1:3).

John wanted the believers to have fellowship, but notice the primary stress, "and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."

Without contact with God and Christ you may have friendship, but not true Christian fellowship. Our contact with God guarantees that our contact with each other will be profitable and edifying. No human being or group of human beings can substitute for contact with God. Many of us would like to see our needs met by other human beings out of what one author called "the human connection." But the human connection is not enough.

Simply stated, we can't and won't be close to each other as members unless we are first close to God. As we all draw closer to God, we will inevitably be drawing closer to each other. ...

A two-fold responsibility

... some in God's Church have a special responsibility because of their opportunity to take the lead in initiating fellowship. I hope that all of you will take that responsibility to heart.

But those of you who are lonely and in need of more contact with others have your responsibility, too.

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly" (Prov. 18:24).

All too often the lonely and isolated pull back from effective contact with others. They draw into a shell of self-pity and make it very hard for others to reach them. By not showing themselves friendly they fail to encourage or develop friendships that may otherwise be available to them.

Sometimes the problem is not so much attitude as the lack of good social skills. I can't broaden the scope of this article to include that here, but I feel that some profitable Bible studies or sermons might be given by our ministers on that topic to help those who lack these critically important skills. In any case, let's all realize that fellowship is a mutual two-way responsibility.

It's not something someone can simply do to someone else or for someone else whether that person wants it or not. Long-standing and profitable relationships are almost always characterized by a high degree of mutuality where each person brings something of value to that relationship. {Give friendship in a unique way which makes it better for you and your friends}

True Philadelphians

We should be inspired by the very name God has given our uniquely blessed era of His true Church. We are the Philadelphian church, the one with the open door to preach the Gospel as no other has been able to do (Rev. 3:7-8). Philadelphia means brotherly love. We have had brotherly love in our Church, and we need to continue to practice it in spite of the fact that this age and its trials tend to wear us down and make us turn inward.

Let's live the meaning of Philadelphia by practicing brotherly love and true Christian fellowship, seizing every opportunity to keep it alive in God's Church today. (Albert DJ. When You Need a Friend. Good News, February 1980)

Of course, to be a Philadelphia Christian, we also are not supposed to compromise with relatives by participating in pagan holidays or other things that God's word condemns. Jesus taught:

34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; 36 and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross (Greek: stauron} and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)

But this does not mean that we will not face trials, which loneliness often is for those experiencing it. The Apostle Peter wrote:

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-14)

Dexter Faulkner wrote:

They may not like it, but ... the person who decides to no longer take the emotional pain that goes along with the emotional satisfaction of working with people has set himself up for a siege of loneliness. Few understand that making friends involves taking risks. It's much easier to let the other pe son introduce himself and fumble around with a few opening phrases. This attitude of not taking risks emanates from vanity. If you' re worried about how you'II look if you make a mistake, consider this individual's healthy view of self:

"I know that nothing good lives in me , that is. in my sinful nature" (R oman s 7:18, New International Version)

- The apostle Paul knew his basic stature in comparison with Jesus Christ, his elder Brother. He had no false not ions or preoccupation with self. With that healthy knowledge, he was ab le to put away self-concern to "become all things to all men" (I Corinthians 9:22 , N IV) .

And he wrote one of th e main keys to avoiding loneliness:

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility. consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3, NIV).

That's the first part in combati ng loneliness. The second follows:

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4, NIV).

Regardless of whether loneliness arises from being in an unfamiliar place without friends, a lifetime of conditioning yourself to be lonely or other reasons, you stop being lonely only when you start giving of yourself.

If you want to get air out of a bottle, you must fill it with something else. The same is true of ridding yourself of loneliness. If you 're lonely, start thinking about others and how you can help them. Compliment others sincerely. Notice the good things they do, but refuse to feel overwhelmed by their accomplishments - they're human, just like you. Don't be concerned about whether you' re as financially or socially advanced as other people. Instead, appreciate what God has given you, and rejoice in others' blessings.

Yes, do not just think about yourself and what YOU think YOU need.

You sometimes should take the first, second, third, and even fourth or more steps.

As far as friendship goes, the Bible teaches:

24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly ... (Proverbs 18:24)

And, even if you see faults in others, you can still be friendly towards them.

And yes, even true Church of God Christians are not perfect, may "rub you the wrong way," and may not, in your view, always treat you right. Though, you may not realize it, you have probably negatively affected brethren and others in ways you are not aware.

But, YOU need to do what YOU can. Remember Jesus said:

1 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)

You may not think you have a plank, but the other has it, BUT JESUS said YOU need to deal with your own problems to better help others. And YOU need to have loving kindness when you help others.

And you are not to give up because you tried before.

Now it is true that being friendly does not always seem to work.

In modern societies, people have learned to be distrustful.

You need to be trustworthy.

Jesus said that Christians must endure to the end to be saved (e.g. Matthew 10:22). When Jesus said that, He did not mean just saying you are Christian to the end, but also living Chritianity as He taught and commanded.

Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote:

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:2-7)

Yes, giving love means sometimes means you have to endure and kindly try anyway.

Even if rebuked, that does not mean you should stop trying to be friendly. Notice the following:

5 ... Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him. (Hebrews 12:5)

We are not to let discouragement control us if God, or others, rebuke us.

Even if hurt before, you still are to love. Notice how the Contemporary English Version renders part of Paul's writing:

5 Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do. (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Brethren, are you one who thinks he or she is a Philadelphian Christian who is still holding on to "a record of wrongs that others do"?

If so, that is to your shame.

Notice also:

17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)

All Christians are always to love and strive to be kind.

Kindness is really something we ALL should show others.

That, too, will help defeat loneliness.

Consider also your words. As the Apostle Paul wrote:

32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:32-33)

We are not compromise, but be careful to not unnecessarily offend.

And if you and a brother/sister are offended, what should you do about it?

Should you conclude they are so wrong, you will simply give tithes and offerings and that is enough to show you are a Christian?

No, not according to Jesus:

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

Brethren, not all of you are following through with verse 24. "I say this to your shame"(1 Corinthians 6:5).

Reconcile and that will also help you be less lonely.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:5-6)

And verse 6 is applicable to all people, whether or not in the Church of God.

Gracious people also tend not to be lonely people.

Notice also the following:

8 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.
9 The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works. (Psalm 145:8-9)

Notice that God is good to all.

How are we to be good to all if we are not involved in supporting His work?

Even without direct personal contact, your supporting the work should help with at least some feelings of loneliness.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, ... (Romans 13:11-13)

Support the work. Have the right focus, as Jesus said:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)

Don't keep looking at the glass as 1/2 empty, but 1/2 full.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Think on what God wants you to and actually DO what the word of God says to DO and we see the "cure" of the peace of God will be with you.

The Book of Hebrews teaches:

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; (Hebrews 12:14-15)

To pursue peace with all, you need to have contact with at least some people. Notice you are NOT to have a root of bitterness. You are NOT to say or think, we do not want to bother with him or her because I don't like what they said or I do not agree with them on some point of doctrine or he or she did something to me. To pursue peace with all means that YOU need to take action to remedy this to eliminate whatever roots of bitterness you may be allowing to grow!

Yes, we all need to be proactive.

Furthermore, notice something Jesus taught related to praying:

25 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." (Mark 11:25-26)

If you are lonely and harboring bitterness and not forgiveness, don't blame circumstances, blame yourself. Then repent and forgive. Forgiveness helps YOU!

If you want God to hear your prayers, you need to be a forgiving person.

The GN article states:

An Ignored Problem.

Loneliness is a universal problem and a driving force in millions of lives. Although chronic loneliness is known to be a contributing factor in mental breakdown, divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide, psychologists and researchers have paid little attention to it. Loneliness has been looked on as a symptom rather than a cause, and consequently ignored. This is because most people are ashamed of loneliness in themselves and intolerant of others who admit to feeling it. Loneliness is usually swept under the rug; it's a painful embarrassment.

Most of the lonely feel that they are somehow to blame for their plight.

Dr. Robert S. Weiss writes:

"So great is the shame of the lonely... that they are wary of each other's company — a bit like Groucho Marx, who believed that -any club that admitted him could not be worth joining" (Loneliness: The Experience of Emotional and Social Isolation, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1973, p. xix).

In fact, the experience of loneliness is so painful that once it is alleviated people will go to extreme lengths to forget they ever suffered from it — even to denying others' needs, since this reminds them of their former pain.

Psychologist Frieda Fromm-Reichmann "noted that at least one reason that we have no very good theory about loneliness is that we have studied it so little." Further, "She suggested that the absence of attention to loneliness was to be explained not by the challenge loneliness presented to understanding but rather by the threat it presented to well-being. She said that loneliness is such a painful, frightening experience that people will do practically everything to avoid it" (ibid., p. 10). (Ritter C. Coping with Loneliness Good News Magazine April 1976 Volume: Vol XXV, No. 4 QR CodeCoping with Loneliness. Good News, April 1976)

As far as research, there has been more since the GN article came out in 1976. Here are some comments from Psychology Today, accessed in June 2022:

Though our need to connect is innate, many of us frequently feel alone. Loneliness is the state of distress or discomfort that results when one perceives a gap between one’s desires for social connection and actual experiences of it. Even some people who are surrounded by others throughout the day—or are in a long-lasting marriage—still experience a deep and pervasive loneliness. Research suggests that loneliness poses serious threats to well-being as well as long-term physical health. ...

Loneliness can be described in different ways; a commonly used measure of loneliness, the UCLA Loneliness Scale, asks individuals about a range of feelings or deficits of connection, including how often they:

Given the potential health consequences for those who feel like they have few or no supportive social connections, widespread loneliness poses a major societal challenge. But it underscores a demand for increased outreach and connection on a personal level, too. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/loneliness#:~:text=Loneliness%20is%20the%20state%20of,a%20deep%20and%20pervasive%20loneliness.

The above is consistent with Proverbs 18:24.

While many hope some group will solve their loneliness problems, individuals need to reach out to better connect with others.

God knows your needs, even if you discount him. As far as loneliness goes, even prophets can be lonely. Paul wrote:

1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 "Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (Romans 11:1-5)

Even today, there are thousands of faithful people. Some of which you probably can connect with--if YOU take the action.

Psychology Today also asked an answered the following question:

Why is it so hard to seek out companionship when one feels lonely?

There's evidence that lonely individuals have a sort of negativity bias in evaluating social interactions. Lonely people pick up on signs of potential rejection more quickly than do others, perhaps better to avoid it and protect themselves. People who feel lonely need to be aware of this bias so as to override it in seeking out companionship.

That is consistent with warnings from Dexter Faulkner that the old WCG published.

Loneliness is NOT good for your health. Psychology Today reported:

A number of unfavorable outcomes have been linked to loneliness. In addition to its association with depressive symptoms and other forms of mental illness, loneliness is a risk factor for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and arthritis, among other diseases. Lonely people are also twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, research suggests. The state of chronic loneliness may trigger adverse physiological responses such as the increased production of stress hormones, hinder sleep, and result in weakened immunity.

So, what can you do about it? Psychology Today reported:

What concrete steps can I take to be less lonely?

Loneliness researcher John Cacioppo argues that just as you can start an exercise regimen to gain strength and improve your health, you can combat loneliness through small moves that build emotional strength and resilience.

Instead of complaining, one should take steps.

Here is something from the old Worldwide Church of God:

A treatment for loneliness

Overcoming loneliness involves being able to look around and see those with whom you come in contact perceiving their loneliness and fastening your mind there.

A lonely person needs to focus on others -- to express outgoing concern -- instead of drawing inward and. concentrating on himself. Most people will respond with friendship -- the commodity they are dying for -- if they are approached in the right way.

Doctors have found in group sessions that the loneliest people never nurture others. They never consider the other person's feelings. When others are speaking, they don't listen. They're self-obsessed. They insist on their share of time. The fact that the speaker might be at a great point of interest or covering some point that would be beneficial makes no difference to them. To solve this problem, these people need to learn to share.

The doctors suggest that these people develop a skill and share it with somebody -- tennis, racquetball, swimming, sewing, playing cards, walking or some other hobby. The thing not to do is just sit down and say, "Help me, I'm lonely." If you do that, you're asking for a babysitter. You should go out and do something -- share, participate.

A friend of mine has known a certain elderly gentleman for a long time, and he regards this old man as very wise. Once he asked the old fellow, "Tell me, in my lifetime, how many really close friends can I expect to have?" The man told him, "Well, if you're lucky, as many as you have fingers on one hand." It's a rare thing to have a really close friend. But if you're able to be one, then you're going to have far more than usual.

I Corinthians 13 describes love, an outgoing concern for others. Learn to nurture others. That's biblical love, serving others. It is exactly what God wants. It is the essence of keeping His commandments -- showing love toward God and also toward every fellow human.

Close families talk and share outings and sports. There's never a lonesome person in the middle of a close family. Everybody feels accepted. As Malachi says, we should turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers (Mal. 4:6). In principle, that includes aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and cousins -- and even neighbors, in the broadest sense of the term. ...

In this world, when you're lonely, the solution isn't to go hunting for some human friends who will solve your problem. ...

We need fellowship. In the Church of God, we have the Father first, the Son and then all the sons and daughters. We have fellowship among us. Don't be separate, off by yourself. Be part of the Body that's growing and readying itself to be brought into the Kingdom of God, to share eternity with God and live with Him forever. If you're part of that Body, let everybody know by your presence. (Fahey RH. True Christian Fellowship. Good News, June-July 1980) 

A loveless generation

One of the saddest commentaries of our time is the lack of genuine love and concern for other members of the human race. Almost everyone suffers from the loneliness of being shut out from the thoughts and actions of others. Loneliness has come to be a major problem in our modern way of life. It has probably been the cause of more delinquency, destructive acts and desperate behavior than any other single factor.

As Norman Roston wrote in the article "The Ones Who Wait," published several years ago in The Saturday Evening Post:

"You can see them [the unloved] in the city or town, men or women, the young and the old, gathering in the late afternoons or evenings, strolling in the streets, or wandering through stores or the parks, or sitting on park benches, or heading for bars. They are in search of others, the unnamed, the yet-to-be-found, the hour-long or night-long companions. And the numberless unseen who merely wait alone in separate rooms, in small, desperate rooms, their hope behind, accepting defeat. These are the ones who have somehow missed the miracle. Passed by while others were chosen. ...

"It is not merely a matter of age. The loveless exist wherever life may be. They are the obviously scarred or the seemingly well, the wounded with the scar hidden; they are married or single, in and out of careers, in and out of marital beds or motel adventures, all touched by that shadow of having been denied, forgotten, un blessed."

This is a pitiful, sad commentary on real life! Perhaps you feel that you are being left out of the affection and concern of others. But what are you doing for others? How about you? Do you have any loved ones going hungry for a word of encouragement, a note or visit that says you care about them?

Truly, outgoing love is in desperately short supply in this generation. If you and I are not careful, we will fall right into the trap that so many people without any knowledge of God's truth are in. But if we will begin to exercise outgoing concern ourselves, our own loneliness will evaporate.

Even though this godless generation makes goodwill difficult, it is still necessary for human happiness. Life without personal warmth and goodwill is not real living.

Love absolutely necessary

People need to see a smile and receive a cheery greeting that somehow conveys interest in their welfare, with a willingness to stop and help when necessary. Such love is a vital part of any happy society.

And it will be a prominent, personal, daily quality in God's Kingdom.

Those of us who are able to see that outgoing love is a part of God's way of life, and who have chosen to come out of this world and to learn and practice God's way, may not excuse ourselves from having and practicing outgoing love and concern for others. It is an absolute requirement for any who expect to enter His Kingdom. Those who have not demonstrated genuine outgoing concern for others in their daily lives will not enter at all (Matthew 25:31- 46)!

To those who do not aid the stranger, the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick and the confined, Jesus Christ will say,

"Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

True love is so important that Almighty God warns those without it that they are as worthless as "sounding brass or a clanging cymbal" (I Corinthians 13:1). A personality devoid of outgoing love is a sick personality! It is unpleasant, unwholesome and ineffective. On the other hand, an outgoing personality adds immeasurably to health, happiness and prosperity. It is a delight to everyone, and it will certainly make the lives of those around much brighter and more worthwhile. The apostle Paul wrote:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing" (I Corinthians 13:1-2). This knowledge comes only from the Bible, and understanding comes from God's Holy Spirit, which no one possesses naturally.

(Elliot J. Are You Expressing True Love? Good News Magazine June-July 1984)

You need to be a giver, but also do need to have contact with brethren.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2. Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3. And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations, realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance, 4. And endurance brings forth character, and character brings forth hope. 5. And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 A Faithful Version)

Through trials we build character and character brings forth hope. And a major way we express the love of God through kindness, which therefore requires others.

Furthermore, notice following from the Bible:

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)

You are to have contact with other believers to stir up love and good works. You are to be a giver.

Some may say, well in the Continuing Church of God in North America and Europe, there are very few people to fellowship with. That is true.

But there are a couple of ways to do so.

We have a group in Northern Ireland that meets online each Sabbath--and this includes people in North America and Europe.

We also have a group out of Serbia that meets online most Sabbaths--and this includes people in North America and Europe.

Those are ways you can have fellowship with other CCOG-affiliated Christians.

Additionally, there are telephones, email, personal visits, and other ways to have direct contact.

You might think that is not the way it should be done. But that is currently the way it is in the CCOG. And in many ways, it is much easier to have fellowship in the CCOG in North America or Europe than it used to be in the early days of the old Radio Church of God. Back then people did not have access to the internet, video sermons, Skype or similar connections, etc.

Notice the following Q&A the old Radio Church of God published in the September 1960 edition of the old Plain Truth magazine:

I have no one to talk to about spiritual matters, and this makes me very lonely at times. How can I overcome this loneliness?

When you begin to feel alone, and in need of Divine help, just think of the thousands of others who have the same feeling — then go to God in prayer and ask Him to relieve them of their distress and loneliness. Get your mind on their problems and you will soon forget your own!

Your natural loneliness can be dispelled to a considerable degree by adequate daily communion with God. God speaks to us daily if we study our Bible daily. We talk to God when we pray. If we follow the examples of Daniel and David, we will pray to God three times daily (Dan. 6:10 and Psa. 55:17). When we pray and study we are communing with our spiritual Father, who is personally interested in our happiness.

You should ask God to supply your needs and to make it possible, in His own time, for you to meet others who love His ways. Ask Him, also, to give you peace of mind so that you will be able to serve Him wholeheartedly. When we look at life from a standpoint of spiritual fellowship, we find those who are without God have much more reason to be lonely than do those who are without human friends in Christ. People can give us only physical company and little encouragement, but God can give us everything we have need of. Remember, our fellowship is first of all with God.

If the first part of the Philadelphia era could experience lack of regular church services, surely those of us who best represent the remnant of the Philadelphia era at this time can handle it now. And particularly because in many ways it is easier because of technologies such as the internet.

As far as you being able to handle being alone, we need to admit that we need to take steps that we can as well as remember that the Apostle Paul wrote:

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

So yes, if you are being called to be a Philadelphian Christian in this age, even if there is no other Philadelphian Christian geographically close to you, yes you can (and should) handle it. God will grant more in time if it is His will and He finds it best--trust God.


28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

So, yes, even being isolated can be helpful for you.

Scripturally, there is also something else. however, you can do as far as direct contact goes.

People in North America, and around the world for that matter, should be saving second tithe so that they will be able to meet together with others at the Feast of Tabernacles. The feast is referred to as a pilgrim feast in Psalm 42:4. That means one needs to travel.

The Bible says it could be a long way:

23 And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24 But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. (Deuteronomy 14:23-25)

Notice that scripture does NOT say if the place is too far for you, you have a valid excuse not to go. If you have the health and have saved enough as commanded, you should go.

Attending the Feast of Tabernacles is something Christians, and those hoping to be, should do.

Festival attendance is one way to help the lonely as well as to reduce feelings of loneliness people sometimes have.

The Feast of Tabernacles is a time where you can meet with and fellowship with Christians and others in person.

Consider also:

20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)

Hopefully, you love the brethren enough to take the effort to see them, at least at the Feast of Tabernacles.

As far as where we in the CCOG have festival sites around the world, here is a link: Feast of Tabernacles' Sites for 2022.

And if you cannot go, a small step would be to start saving second tithe until you do have enough to go in the future.

David the psalmist wrote:

8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart. (Psalms 40:8)

While God's law is in our heart--we are to actually DO God's will. And that includes attempting to fellowship.

And yes, if you are a parent, you need to spend time with your children (cf. Deuteronomy 6:6-7)--it is good for them and you.

As far as fellowship goes, notice what happened with the converts after the Pentecost sermon in Acts 2:

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)

Now, notice the following fromt the Apostle Paul:

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9)

Now, you might think that all you need is fellowship with Jesus. And while you should have fellowship with Jesus, that is not all the fellowship you need.

The Apostle John wrote:

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7)

Yes, Christians need to have fellowship with one another.

That is not a new command, but one that has always been in your Bible.

For those who were unaware, hopefully you can see that now.

Back to the old GN article:

Too Frequent Advice.

Weiss further states that "Loneliness is entirely natural in certain situations, yet it is so easy to think of it as weakness or self-indulgence, so easy to say that since one is suffering no physical pain or obvious privation, it should be possible to shrug off one's loneliness, even to label it solitude and thereupon enjoy it. At least, so goes the too frequent advice, one ought not to let oneself become caught up in self-pity: use the time alone to perform household chores or to improve your mind. The lonely are apt to hear this advice from others, but even if they do not, they very likely will offer it to themselves. And they, like others, will condemn themselves if they cannot shake off their loneliness and attend to something else" (ibid., p. 3).

And loneliness researcher Dr. William A. Sadler, Jr., professor of Sociology at Bloomfield College, New Jersey, says that the general public sees loneliness "merely as a symptom of a weak character. The result is one tends to downplay the impact it has on one's life, or even to deny that is has any significance at all. A common response given to persons who admit being lonely is: 'Well, what's wrong with you? You don't need to be lonely. Go out and get busy. Join a club. Do something.' Frequently through workshops, interviews, and articles [he has] found the response to be even more negative than this..." ("The Cause of Loneliness," Science Digest, July 1975, p. 60).

Victims of Loneliness.

Loneliness attacks everyone from time to time. ...

Even those in seemingly intimate situations can be extremely lonely. Children who live in upstanding families and seem to have many friends may actually suffer acute loneliness: "It is... possible in adolescence for there to be intervals in which the world seems emptied, bereft of possible attachment. The parents no longer serve in this way, and there is no one else" (Weiss, op. cit., p. 92).

And their parents may be faring no better: "There are empty-shell marriages, marriages without attachment, that provide no defense against loneliness. Indeed, marriages of this sort may seem to the participants to be the chief cause of their loneliness, since they prevent the formation of genuine attachments" (ibid., p. 90). ...

Our Lonely Society.

Our society as a whole seems to be custom-designed to induce certain types of loneliness. Ralph Keyes makes some interesting observations about the causes behind one type of cultural loneliness: "There are three things we [Americans] cherish in particular — mobility, privacy and convenience — which are the very sources of our lack of community" ("We, the Lonely People," Intellectual Digest, December 1973, p. 25). This lack of community has caused us to develop "temporary love systems, hit-and-run intimacy, self-destructing communities that are making closeness just as convenient and just as disposable as a two-week guided tour."

Keyes adds that "Millions of us have gladly rejected the suffocation of total community, and even the partial oppression of churches or clubs, where we were once known and scrutinized. We feel well rid of that kind of oppression.... But we forget to provide anywhere for the fellowship that went hand in hand with suffocation. The sermons may have been a drag, but the potlucks weren't so bad" (ibid., p. 31).

Specific Needs.

Understanding the limiting structure of our society and being able to define and categorize loneliness is a step in the right direction. But how can we use this knowledge to cope with loneliness as it affects us and those around us? Sadler states that "Many attempts to cope with loneliness are unsuccessful because the need for a particular type of loneliness has not been met." He also feels that " Recognizing specific needs proper to different dimensions [of loneliness] is extremely important when someone is trying to cope with loneliness. For example, a person who sorely misses a special other person will not have that need satisfied by joining in a group. Yet in spite of an impressive history of failure, we continue to encourage widows to compensate by joining organizations. That is, we tell them to look to the social dimension to satisfy an interpersonal need" (op. cit., p. 66).

But even if we recognize the specific cause or causes of our particular private loneliness, we may be unable to control the factors governing it. There are many reasons why this is so. An interpersonal relationship may be terminated by death or unavoidable separation; a social relationship by a necessary job-related move to another part of the country.

Cultural loneliness by its very nature is brought on by factors that are normally outside one's control, such as being born into a certain racial group or growing old in a changing society. What can a lonely individual do about all this? First of all, he can pinpoint his own particular type of loneliness and determine if there is any way he can change things. But if he can't, he shouldn't condemn himself or feel guilty about his feelings. Changing one's circumstances can be very difficult. A widow or widower, for example, may find it nearly impossible to replace a lost mate. A shut-in. might not be able to join a club. And an older person can't turn the calendar back to "the good old days." ...

But there are two of Dr. Sadler's dimensions of loneliness a person can control: the "psychological" and the "cosmic" — and they are actually very closely related. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about both of these areas. There was a recent best-seller titled How To Be Your Own Best Friend. Loving yourself, "being your own best friend," being at peace with yourself and on good terms with your conscience, are all a vital part of personal Christianity. God loves us, and in the Bible He commands us to love others as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:39). (Ritter C. Coping with Loneliness Good News Magazine April 1976 Volume: Vol XXV, No. 4 QR CodeCoping with Loneliness. Good News, April 1976)

Jesus said:

37 ..."'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40)

And, as stated before, if you cannot love people, you cannot love God. Some have deceived themselves otherwise.

They think because God loves them, He understands why they do not properly love others.

Well, just because God understands, does not mean He approves--He does not.

Back to the GN article:

God wants us to take good care of ourselves, to develop all of our talents to the full (see Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27), to if at all possible derive joy from the work we do (Eccl. 3:22), and to behave ourselves morally and lovingly toward our fellow human beings. (Ritter C. Coping with Loneliness Good News Magazine April 1976 Volume: Vol XXV, No. 4 QR CodeCoping with Loneliness. Good News, April 1976)

You might think that you are not much. Even if that were true (it isn't by the way), Jesus taught:

10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10)

You can be more loving and less lonely.

Personal development needs to be built on the foundation of a good relationship with God.

The death of a loved one is a factor for many to become lonely. Here is something the old WCG published:

When a Loved One Dies

The stages of bereavement

   1) Shock and numbness. 2) Emotional turmoil. 3) Emptiness — loneliness, despair and depression. 4) Acceptance.
   Let us explore each of these stages briefly, understanding that they are not necessarily clearly defined stages. Loss of sleep, lack of appetite and extremes of emotions are common throughout bereavement.

Shock and numbness

   The death of the loved one may come from an accident or from natural causes such as age or disease. Of course, there is little one can do to prepare for accidents, except to try to prevent them. They happen, and we adapt to meet the crisis. Old age and disease are common visitors, and we do sometimes have warning that the person is nearing death.
   Despite the preparation we may have to accept that a person is dying, it still comes as a shock, either immediately or a little later. It's a time I describe as a lack of feeling.
   By that I mean you are so deeply involved with your thoughts and feelings that events around you lose immediate significance. Deep preoccupation perhaps best describes the state you're in. You may need reminding to eat or turn off the boiling kettle on the stove.
   It's nature's morphia or sedative that allows you to do necessary things — attend the funeral, pay the bills and carryon immediately after the death.

Emotional turmoil

   Following the shock and numbness is a period of emotional turmoil. Such feelings and emotions as anger, resentment, guilt, bitterness or fear may be felt to varying degrees of intensity and duration.
   Many people conclude that because you have coped so well in the initial stages, you no longer need emotional support, and they are unavailable when you most need it. I was grateful that my family and friends were there during the times I thought I was going crazy. Sometimes my thoughts were wild and extreme. Their sympathetic ears and few words were of inestimable help.
   Even up to two years later, I was still availing myself of friends to use as a sounding board for my feelings. Frequently, these chats were accompanied by tears and a glass of beer! How profitable and beneficial these situations were, for they helped me to come to terms with my own emotions.
   I recall having many regrets at this time. Frequently the "If only I had... "feeling invaded me. Self-recrimination changes nothing. The opportunity to do it differently may present itself in the future.


   Loneliness, despair and depression are typical emotions, and stay around for quite a while. I remember my mother saying to me one day, "Son, I have experienced loneliness like you'll never know." I think I now understand how she felt after the death of her husband, and the void that followed.
   Coming to terms with loneliness is important. I strongly felt that I had to survive and make it on my own doing the daily physical things. I felt equally strongly about coming to terms with loneliness. You must learn to live with it and be careful not to avoid it by leaning too heavily on someone or something else.
   Sometimes people lean on others or use alcohol to blunt loneliness. While both may tend to help in moderation, extreme caution needs to be taken, especially with alcohol. You don't want to wear out your welcome with friends, nor do you want to become dependent on a bottle.
   Remember, the bereavement process takes time. Don't be impatient with it.


   I call the final stage acceptance. This is when you've done all your crying, grieving and fretting. You're basically on an even keel again and your emotions have settled to an acceptable equilibrium.
   You will still feel lonely and miss the person. That's to be expected, for you will never be the same again as a result of bereavement. You will, though, come to accept the status quo in time.
   Perhaps the surest sign that you are recovering is when you begin to really take an interest in life again. You have a renewed spark to do things you haven't done for a long time. For me, it was playing squash. I lost all interest in playing for months. Eventually, the interest returned as I began to feel more normal again.
   In the past, it was expected that people follow a social custom of mourning. In many respects this social timetable fit closely the more natural progression of grief. Today, in our fast-paced and busy lives, modern society leaves little room for the slow and natural process of grief. I think it would be wise to take a page out of the past and consider it.

A time not to make decisions

   Too often today people try to rush this natural process and fill the void that has been created in their lives. People have sold their homes and moved or made rash decisions that they have regretted. I know of cases where widows and widowers married too soon after the death of a mate. They were not over the deaths yet and ended up making tragic mistakes by acting in haste.
   I do not subscribe to a return to Victorian rigidity, but I do advocate caution. There ought to be respect for the dead and their memory for a suitable time. I personally feel it takes about one year.
   Others may feel less is acceptable. The Bible does not give any specific length of time for mourning. In many instances, though, great or grievous mourning took place (Genesis 50:11).
   The important thing is to be sure you are truly emotionally over, say, your first marriage before entering a new phase in your life, such as dating or another marriage. Be sure you really feel like doing something before you do it.

(Suckling AO. When a Loved One Dies. October-November 1984)

Yes, the loss of a loved one can be very difficult. And although many go through the same stages of emotions, some take shorter times and some nearly a forever amount of time to move through the various stages. Not all get to the acceptance stage, though as Christians we should.

Getting back to the GN article:

Relationship With God.

Christ taught that love of God and love of fellowman (including oneself) are the two basic principles from which all other moral laws are derived (Matt. 22:40).

Developing this love for God and a relationship with Him involves being called by Him, repenting, being baptized, receiving His Spirit, and trying to live the kind of life Christ would in our circumstances (Acts 2:38-39; II John 5-6). If we actively seek and develop this relationship with God, the Bible gives us something to hang onto -- hope for the future. Even if our circumstances are irremediably lonely right now, God promises us a resurrection to eternal life, into an unimaginably satisfying fellowship with Christ and other resurrected Christians. (Ritter C. Coping with Loneliness Good News Magazine April 1976 Volume: Vol XXV, No. 4 QR CodeCoping with Loneliness. Good News, April 1976)

Yes, as Christians we are to have hope, real hope. And yes that does involve hope in the truth about the resurrection. Paul wrote:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

We are not to be hopeless like the world. We are not to wallow in hopeless loneliness. Continuig, the Apostle Paul wrote:

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)

Notice that Christians are to comfort ONE ANOTHER with these words. If you are not in regular contact with other Christians, you are disobeying this admonition that God inspired the Apostle Paul to record in scripture.

Back to the GN article:

This relationship will be far more warm, intimate and rewarding than any human friendship. Christ uses the analogy of a marriage to describe it, but it will transcend even this deep human bond. Christ's prayer (recorded in the Gospel of John, chapter 17) hints at its nature: "Holy Father, keep them [the disciples] in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.... I do not pray for these only, but also for those who are to believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us..." (verses 11, 20-21). This relationship — which is guaranteed to every one of us who reaches out to take God's promises -- will eventually wipe out all loneliness. (Ritter C. Coping with Loneliness Good News Magazine April 1976 Volume: Vol XXV, No. 4 QR CodeCoping with Loneliness. Good News, April 1976)

Please understand that every human being who will accept God's ways will be able to give love in a unique way to make eternity better for every other one who does the same thing. A booklet, that is available in over 100 languages related to this: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?

Of course, you are not to wait until God's kingdom to give love--if you do not do so now, you will not be there.

Notice something Jesus taught:

31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'

37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'

44 "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' 45 Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:31-46)

Yes, we are to practice kindness to others now. Visit those who should be visited--which can also include electronic methods these days like the telephone and various ways on the internet. By the way, when you financially support the CCOG, you are also assisting us in providing food, clothing, and sometimes shelter for our poor brethren as well as others they come into contact with.

But non-givers of love will not make it into the Kingdom. Some, who claim to be COG Christians, have a hard time sending tithes and offerings, which suggests that they are not good at giving love in many ways.

While visiting prisoners in most countries now is so regulated that it is not possible to do, there are things you should consider doing.

The Apostle James wrote:

27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

Almost everyone can do at least some of the following, which can help others, as well as help reduce feelings of loneliness:

Give love how you can.

Jesus said:

38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38)

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 a hundredfold 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. (Mark 10:29-30)

God will bless those who follow His ways--including providing spiritual brothers and sisters so one does not have to be lonely.

Remember, "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Furthermore, being a giver will tend to make, even the lonely, more cheerful.

Be a kind and cheerful giver and be in the kingdom.

Now, in the coming Kingdom of God, you will have more friends than can be reasonably numbered. And actually, more friends than anyone else on earth ever had before the coming kingdom.

That is good news!

Back to the 1976 GN article:

In the book of Revelation, it is prophesied that "God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:3-4).

So loneliness, no matter how chronic or hopeless in this age, is going to be nonexistent in the fantastic future God has prepared for us. If you would like to read more on the subject of mankind's eventual destiny, read our free booklet ...

The best booklet to do that now is: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?

Until then, notice something else that Dexter Faulkner wrote:

Avoid depressing situations.

Old songs and some current popular music can trigger negative reflective moods.

Learn to recognize your negative moods at their onset, and crowd them out by reflecting on the needs of others. In sum, the only antidote to extreme self-concern is developing a positive. sincere concern for others. Try it.

Can you help somebody now? What are you waiting for?

Instead, many lonely people become more self-centered.

Some become bitter and seem to relish criticizing others.

That is not a cure for their loneliness, but plays into Satan's hand.

Christians are to be forgiving:

10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Notice that Paul wrote that Satan will try to take advantage of those who are not forgiving.

Put God first.

Be kind.

Take steps to love your neighbor.

That, includes being involved with others.

Do not forsake Christian assembly and fellowship.

Attend the Feast of Tabernacles.

Take effort to show yourself friendly.

There steps are part of the loving cure for loneliness.

It is not that will never be able to have feelings of loneliness, but tou can overcome loneliness with your efforts combined with help from Jesus.

And if properly express the love of God, you will help both yourself and others.

Here is a link to a related sermon: Loneliness and ways to help cure it.

Thiel B. Loneliness and Coping With It. COGwriter (c) 2022. https://www.cogwriter.com/overcoming-loneliness.htm 2022 0621

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