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A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34)

One particular evening, years ago, I was sitting on the floor at the foot of my bed. I began to think of how lonely I was, and I didn’t know what to do about it. I just felt so lonely. No one had said or done anything wrong to me. I was just feeling so lonely.

Sometimes it seemed as though everybody showed me love except the one I desired to show me love. That alone can cause unwarranted loneliness in us. People show love, but have you experienced only wanting to be loved by a certain individual? Have those individuals not only refused to love you but also rejected or diminished the fact that you’re trying to share your love with them?

Rejection is an awful experience that pierces our emotions because we yearn to be close to the ones we have chosen to love us. If we’ll be honest and own up to it, we have rejected the love some people have had for us.

When we decide that we will not reciprocate the love someone desires to show us, we create a loneliness state for ourselves that we’re forced to live in. Only desiring the affection of a certain individual can cause a harboring of selfishness in our hearts. We need to be fair to ourselves and others people by being open to receiving true love from whomever God chooses to use to share His love.

God gave me a definition of a friend about 30 years ago. He told me that a friend is someone that He places in our lives to show His love through … and they allow it. Again, we must be open, even to the unsuspecting ones who enter our lives and want to genuinely love us, knowing that it’s not easy to trust and it’s also not easy to discern who is real from who has an evil motive.

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. (1 Corinthians 13:4, AMPC)

The ways of anyone can be righteously judged when viewed according to the Holy Bible. It has always been wise to ask people to reveal what they would like to gain from being in a relationship with us. True love, as perfectly described in the Bible verse above, lasts for a long time. No speedy commitment proves love and waiting doesn’t disprove love.

We may very well remain lonely simply because we’re afraid to trust, even afraid of trusting the ones sent by God. Praying is the key to knowing who we can trust, but what do we pray? We should ask God to reveal to us the person’s purpose in our lives and our purpose in their lives and see if it matches with what they believe in their heart.

I do understand that loving people and receiving love won’t cure all lonely times, but loving others is a seed that will always bear good fruit. It’s impossible to love and not have love returned to us in some form or another. Love someone genuinely, and let God release you from loneliness today.

Dr. Shane Wall is the senior pastor of The Feast of the Lord in Orangeburg.

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