In an ideal world, everyone would truly celebrate the spirit of Christmas with the love and joy that it is meant to accompany it. But the reality is people are lonely at Christmas, and the holidays can exacerbate our isolation because it highlights the loneliness we’ve allowed to creep into our lives. Here are four types of loneliness people experience at Christmas:
1. Spiritual Loneliness. That’s the loneliness that happens in your soul when you’re separated from your Heavenly Father. We are created to know God, but too many people don’t. You can try and fill that void with money, power, accomplishment, pleasure, addiction, or even relationships, but the only thing large enough to fill the God-shaped void in your life is Jesus himself. If you’ve never given your life to Jesus, you can do that today. You can make things right by acknowledging that He has not been first in your life, by believing that Jesus was the Son of God, that he died for your sins and that he rose again, and by inviting God to live in you through His Holy Spirit. Jesus came and died and rose again so you can be reunited with your Heavenly Father!
2. Relational Loneliness. Sometimes we’re just lonely in our relational life. God said all the way back in Genesis 2 that it is not good for a person to be alone. Churches are designed to be much more than a building or a collection of programs and activities. Churches are a family. A lot of people live with their biological family nowhere nearby. Churches can’t force anyone to become best friends. But I can tell you from personal experience, having lived out of state from my parents and brother for the past almost 20 years, that if you lean into church, if you lean into community groups and if you’re intentional to do life with others, you’ll discover a spiritual family.
3. Personal Loneliness. What I mean by that is that for some of us, we’re isolated from other people not because we don’t like other people or other people don’t like us, but we’re isolated because of our bad choices, perhaps our addictions. We’re lonely because we’ve made an absolute mess out of our lives. If you’re there, you don’t just need friends, you need some help getting out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself. Find some type of freedom or recovery ministry that can help you overcome the issues in your life and you’ll discover your loneliness melting away.
4. No loneliness. If you’re not lonely, if life is good, congratulations! Thank God for the place of life that you’re in because not everyone is there. No loneliness shouldn’t be an opportunity for shame or guilt but an opportunity for thanksgiving for the people in your life and a challenge to look around and see who you can become family to. Don’t let anyone celebrate Christmas alone this year.