Empathy Is an Antidote to Loneliness
By Rick Warren
“The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:16-17 (NLT)
Eventually, everyone experiences loneliness.
Loneliness isn’t prevented or fixed by beauty, wealth, fame, or success. Even marriage doesn’t protect you against loneliness. Many people marry because they’re lonely and divorce a few years later for the same reason.
The apostle Paul’s life goal—even toward the very end when he was dying alone—was for other people know about Jesus. In 2 Timothy he talks about being brought alone before a judge. All his friends had abandoned him. But he kept his eyes focused on the spiritual needs of the people around him: “But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear” (2 Timothy 4:16-17 NLT).
He focused on others because he knew everyone needed to hear about God’s love. He could have focused on his own problems, but instead he looked at what he could do to help others. It kept him from being lonely, even when he was alone.
When you’re lonely, don’t have a pity party. Stop saying, “I’m alone. Nobody loves me; nobody even likes me.” When you do that, you’re just focusing on yourself.
Instead, turn your focus outward and build bridges to others. You’ll find there are a lot of lonely people who are also looking for connection.
How can you build bridges of connection? One way is by empathizing with other people’s needs. And remember to ask God to help you connect with others. Pray something like this: “Father, help me be a friend to people who need a friend.”
What’s causing loneliness in your life? Extreme seasons of transition, separation, rejection, or opposition can lead to devastating feelings of loneliness. For instance, much of the world experienced loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But don’t let difficult times keep you from reaching out to people. Look beyond your own problems and find creative ways to connect with others. Empathy is the antidote to loneliness.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
Fill Your Home with Joy and Hope this Christmas!
With Christmas right around the corner, we want to help you spend the holidays worshipping instead of worrying. Slowing down and reconnecting with God. And expressing gratitude for the true meaning of the season.
That’s why Pastor Rick and his wife Kay created the Daily Hope Advent devotional booklet with a companion calendar. This 2-part resource is the perfect way to prepare your heart for the real celebration.
Praise God for the gift of Jesus and build joyful anticipation as Christmas draws near with the 24-day devotional booklet, featuring a special family activity each Sunday. And enjoy the beautiful, custom artwork of the Advent calendar, with a special door for every day of December that opens to reveal a hidden image and encouraging Bible verse.
We’ll send you the Advent devotional booklet and calendar as thanks for your gift below to help share the gift of Jesus with more people through Daily Hope. Be sure to request yours today so that you can start using it on December 1!
*The USA IRS code permits you to deduct the amount of your financial gift to Daily Hope that exceeds the fair market value of materials you received from Daily Hope.
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.