For some people, their idea of heaven is being left alone in a corner with a good book. But for the individual who isn’t built that way, that sounds like the worst day ever. People have different proclivities when it comes to how they relate to others, and that is part of what makes the world a beautiful place. Some of us are energized by solitude (though not loneliness), while others of us prefer the company of people because that’s when we come alive.

There is a big difference between loneliness and being alone, or solitude. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.”

This means that far too often people don’t allow others to be by themselves to reflect on their thoughts and cultivate a strong sense of self. Often our thoughts can tell us a lot about how we feel about ourselves. It can be important to think about the thoughts you have about being alone.

We need solitude from the cacophony of voices that often distracts us from truly understanding who we are. We have no shortage of those with our easy access to music, podcasts, movies, social media, and myriad other distractions that prevent us from stopping and reflecting and meditating on our lives.

Solitude is great, and it isn’t the same thing as loneliness. Loneliness happens when your desire for social connection, however much or little you think is enough for you, goes unmet. When we yearn to connect with someone else, but all we feel is left out or disconnected from other people, that is when loneliness can set in.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), loneliness is the feeling of unwanted isolation that results in the emotional distress we experience in those moments when our needs for companionship and intimacy aren’t met. Solitude is often a choice that a person makes, while loneliness is often a reality that one experiences reluctantly.

Loneliness can feel like disconnectedness or feeling like you aren’t being understood, seen, or heard. You can feel isolated and lonely even while you’re in a room full of people. Many people can attest to the feeling of being left out even though no one has intentionally excluded them. Loneliness can leave you feeling sad and empty inside, and it can affect your mood, mental health, and even your cardiovascular health.

Bible verses about loneliness

Designed for community

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV

Human beings are relational creatures. The God who made us is triune – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and God is love (1 John 4:16). That’s why relationality is at the core of who we are, and that’s why life is often better together than apart. We are wired for and want love and connection with others because God has designed us not only to be in relationship with others but to choose a relationship with Him.

The verses from Ecclesiastes remind us that being in relationship with others is often better than living life isolated from others. We need support, comfort, encouragement, wisdom, connection, and so much more from other people, and they need us too. Loneliness is painful because we were designed for community and love by God.

The roots of loneliness

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:7-8, NIV

These verses indicate the beginning of loneliness. When Adam and Eve decided that they could decide for themselves what is good and not rely on God’s judgment of such things, they introduced the possibility and reality of loneliness. Before disobeying God, they were naked and unashamed. They lived by God’s understanding of what was good, beautiful, and right.

When they took matters into their own hands, that meant Adam could define for himself what was good, and Eve could also do the same. What happens when two people’s definitions of what is good differ? Distrust and fear enter the relationship because what you think is good may be harmful to the other person, and vice versa.

That’s why as soon as they ate the forbidden fruit, the first thing they do is cover themselves up. They hide from each other, protecting themselves from each other’s gaze, and then when they hear God in the garden, they hide from Him too. Now, it was possible to be with someone but be disconnected from them. Their intentions and words to each other could not be trusted to be true, and their judgments about each other could be harmful and dangerous.

Loneliness is real

It’s important to recognize that loneliness is real, and it has real consequences. When you are feeling lonely, you should acknowledge that because that’s the first step toward moving to meet the need you’re experiencing. There’s a Biblical proverb that says, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” (Proverbs 14:10, NIV)

This proverb reminds us that there is a sense in which we are all deeply lonely because what we feel can never be fully communicated to another person. Our words can’t fully capture the nuances of our thoughts and feelings, and when we try to manage that feat, the other person might not get it the way we intend.

The fact that there are depths to us that others can’t quite access and that we can’t share even if we wanted to doesn’t mean that we can’t reach out to try to connect with others. We can have fruitful relationships, but it’s also true that we carry the desire to be known fully and deeply. That desire can’t be met completely in any relationship with another person, no matter how intimate.

Are we truly alone?

Our feelings of loneliness and disconnection from others are real, and they are powerful. That reality cannot be diminished. A person can be in a room full of other people but feel disconnected from every one of them. Though we are always in the presence of God (Psalm 139), we can also feel a sense of deep disconnection there. There are Bible verses that express that sense of disconnection from God, such as the following:

Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? Psalm 10:1 NIV

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. Psalm 22:1-2, NIV

Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 when He was hanging on the cross (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). For Jesus, at that moment, while He was bearing the sin of the whole world, God, who cannot look upon sin with favor, turns from His own Son (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18). We, who ought to be forsaken by God because of our sin, are not left alone because of what Jesus did on the cross for us.

Because of this, we can claim the many promises that are made throughout the Scriptures that remind us that though we may feel alone and disconnected, God is right there with us, and He is eager to commune with us and meet us in our places of brokenness and fear.

Some of the verses we can remember in our moments of feeling lonely include:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10, NIV

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV

God is with us and will never forsake us. You may feel lonely because it seems like everyone else has turned their back on you. It can be a fearful thing to feel like the world is against you or has abandoned you, especially when all you’ve done is try to be faithful to God. In the above verses, He reminds us to be strong, not give in to fear, and trust that He is with us always.

Jesus also promised the Holy Spirit after He ascended into heaven to all those who believed in Him, who groans with us in our hardships. Jesus said to His disciples:

If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever –  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.John 14:15-18, NIV

This is a promise from God, which keeps us as believers from ever being alone. We can reach out to God through prayer at any time and ask Him to comfort us when feeling distressed.

How can you begin to overcome loneliness in your life? Here are a few things you can try.

Put it all before God in prayer

Paul wrote these words to his friends in the city of Philippi:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.Philippians 4:6-8, NIV

Giving to God what we don’t understand is what gives us the peace that surpasses understanding. Sometimes we have to give up the right to understand in order to have that peace.

Learn to appreciate your own company

Get creative with this, and that can include using music and art which can help occupy your time and allow you to express yourself creatively. Embracing hobbies is a great way to care for yourself, and it can potentially create room for making connections with others who have similar passions.

Reach out to people for connection

This may be any family or friends you have. Being vulnerable by seeking connection with others may be scary, but that step is necessary to overcoming loneliness. You can also volunteer at a shelter or care facility for the elderly to step outside of yourself and practice acts of kindness. These acts can create a deep sense of connection with others.

Practice gratitude

It’s important to take a moment each day to reflect on a few things you’re thankful for in your life, no matter how big or small they may be. Loneliness can engender negativity and pessimism, and practicing gratitude can help unravel some of that.

Get exercise

Being physical, whether that is just a walk during a break in your day or a workout at the gym, can elevate how you feel about yourself and give you more confidence to do the things that build connection.

Seek help

Don’t allow your feelings of loneliness to isolate you so much that you withdraw from everything and everyone. You can begin to address the root causes of loneliness by going to a support group or individual counseling. This is important especially if the feelings of loneliness linger, and prevent you from doing daily activities such as work or spending time with loved ones.

Start to overcome your loneliness today by connecting with one of our therapists. The Christian therapists are here for you.

“Sitting in the Field”, Courtesy of Edu Grande,, CC0 License


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