A Better Loneliness

I was reading today in my treasured old book written by a Scottish preacher, James S. Stewart, The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, and I had to pause when the author made an astute point about loneliness.

He pointed out the loneliness that Mary felt in her calling as the mother of Jesus. Immediately I thought of the contrast of “Christians” who are not walking with God and the abyss of loneliness in which they exist. I realized there is more than one type of “loneliness” for God’s people and for those who profess to be His, whether truly saved or not. It was encouraging and comforting to me as I pondered the difference.

In the book the author points out that Mary’s loneliness shines in her devoutness to God.

But what about the people who are immature and lonely due to a never ending quest for recognition? How about pastors who speak just for the compliments they get at the end of sermons? What about the people who do many "kind" and altruistic acts only for the purpose of the recognition they receive, because they are "needy" for praise and compliments in search of "narcissistic supply" to feed a false sense of self.

They are lonely. These are the people who love and crave attention. They want to sit up at the head of the table and have everyone know their name and title. It is as if they have bought into the lie that the more attention they get and the more recognition, or the more they impress people, the less lonely they will be. The irony is God only knows how lonely these people stay in their glass houses of pride.

But, there is a better loneliness. How about the person who sits at the back of the table, knowing his or her life is hidden in Christ, realizing that others do not know or see them like Jesus sees and knows them. That person is also lonely, but he or she is abiding in Jesus. There is a depth and a maturity to such loneliness to make people who are HIDDEN with Christ in God the strongest people on earth.

As we give ourselves the “lonely test” it is evident which category we fall. If a person craves the attention of others and NEEDS their admiration (even often to the point of embellishing the truth about himself to others) this person is more handicapped than people in wheel chairs.

I pray as I ponder this that I will experience a BETTER LONELINESS—one that is satisfied in sweet communion with the Lord with a BETTER CONFIDENCE than pride of accomplishments can offer. For, the loneliness that accompanies the CROSS is the best loneliness of all. The loneliness that is experienced only when one turns his or her back on the world and stops living for acclaim and praise and adventure in places and things passing away is the only true loneliness for a Christian. Abiding in Jesus is saying, “Lord, I will work whatever job You want even if I feel it is ‘beneath’ me…I will go where You want me to go even if it involves suffering…I will keep my word to others no matter the cost and love even when I am not loved in return…” He never calls us into any season without confirming it in wisdom and without giving us a desire spiritually for where He is calling us to be. Such devotion would accompany loneliness, no doubt. But, there is a strength with that high loneliness that is found as the person lives for Jesus and stops looking out for “number one” in themselves, especially when they are using God’s name in self promotion. It would have to be the worst kind of loneliness of all.
This entry was posted in Daily Walk. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.