“But the Lord stood at my side …” (2 Timothy 4:17a NIV)
The Christmas holidays tend to magnify the loneliness we feel when we’re separated from the ones we love. Many of us have lost our roots or never had any to begin with, and that can cause loneliness. We can experience the loneliness of separation because of military service, a career, or an illness.
But the Bible tells us what we can do about our loneliness:
Focus on the needs of others. Get your eyes off yourself and focus outward. Look at how you can serve other people. The Apostle Paul focused on telling more people about Jesus: “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (2 Timothy 4:17a NIV).
Focus on your purpose. Even when the Apostle Paul was isolated in a prison, he never stopped living out his purpose. He wanted everybody to know about God’s love.
When you’re lonely, stop building walls and start building bridges! Instead of saying, “I’m so lonely,” say, “Father, help me be a friend to people who need a friend. Help me to help lonely people.” That is the antidote for loneliness.
You can help others become rich in relationships by giving them the gift of you.
Talk About It
What are some ways you can serve other people this Christmas?
Who can you reach out to this Christmas to start, mend, or strengthen a relationship?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.