You put on that manufactured smile and laugh at the joke you’ve probably heard many times. A youthful, exuberant student seeks your attention just for a few moments. But you are so caught up in your own sadness you can’t be fully present.
This is a reality many face on a daily, or weekly, basis. We have obligations, and we do our best to meet them. And we make sure we look okay for appearance sake.
But the truth is many people have a loneliness that can overwhelm them at times but they learn to put on a mask of happiness so people think everything is okay.
We can be surrounded by people every day whether in church or work life, and yet be more alone than ever before.
And in those moments of loneliness, it is more important than ever to activate the words of Paul to the Corinthians – “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
We are in a spiritual battle – and those moments of loneliness are moments the enemy looks to use to bring us down – first in our thoughts.
A few steps to take when those moments arrive:
- Recognize the moment. This moment where you can go in the direction or depression or growing in your faith in the moment is such a crucial time. The enemy knows at this point more than any other point he can bring you down. But when you are aware the enemy is prowling to bring you down, you can be prepared.
- Know your identity. In this crucial moment we are tempted to believe we are worthless or bring no value to the world around us. But it is in this time we have to remind ourselves of we are in Christ:
- We are adopted as heirs through the work of Christ (Ephesians 1:5). Though we were sinners, God loved us enough to accept us – just as we were, no matter how sinful we may have been.
- Before we were born, God knew us and set us apart for His master plan (Jeremiah 1:5). We were set apart by God before we were born for something much greater than us.
- We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession – so we may declare His praises (1 Peter 2:9).
- We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). God specifically laid out plans for each of us to play a part in His Kingdom. So that thought that you are worthless or have no value – it is a lie and must be taken captive.
- Reach out. After you recognize the significance of this moment and reaffirm your identity in Christ, it is not enough to just stop there. Take some time to reach out to a trusted friend and connect with them. We are not called to live this Christian life in isolation. Growth without community is impossible. Make the courageous choice to reach out to someone who can help build your faith in crucial moments.