Aloneness & Loneliness, Solitude & Isolation

Aloneness is a state. Loneliness is a feeling. One can be alone and yet not feel lonely. One can feel lonely even in a group. Solitude and isolation are common to single persons.

Aloneness can be intentional or circumstantial. For Adam, “It is not good to be alone.” Jesus found time to be alone to pray. Paul was left alone when Demas deserted him.

Loneliness of seniors can be caused by an empty nest, loss of a child, sibling or spouse. Loneliness for others is having no friends.

Inevitably, everyone has to face a life of singlehood at some point in their lives. Bachelors, spinsters, widows and widowers are different phases of singlehood.

A single person does not need to be alone or feel lonely. He/She can have the company of good and trustworthy friends. Two are better than one. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecc 4:9-12).

One can feel spirituality “dry” or “lonely” when one does not walk closely with God. Only God can meet our spiritual needs (Ps 42:2; Ps 63:1).

Let us overcome loneliness by:

1) Spending time with God daily. God is Spirit. A human being is a spiritual being. One is not lonely with God. One’s soul is fed with fresh “manna” by the Good Shepherd and Saviour of our souls (Ps 23:1; 42:2; 63:1; Deut 8:3 cf Matt 4:4; John 6:68; James 1:21).

2) Meeting relatives, friends, neighbours and workplace colleagues face to face to avoid social isolation and overcome loneliness. Do not punish yourself by isolating yourself – only hardcore and violent prisoners are confined in solitary cells. Engage in social interaction with others in a safe environment.

3) Active fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. Be involved in group bible study, in partnership with God through prayers on Wednesdays and in assembling around the Lord’s Table on Sundays to worship the living God.

Elder Yoong Yuen Soo