People talk about a growing loneliness epidemic the past couple of decades. Surveys show a rise in people feeling lonely, left out, and lacking companionship. Typically, we assume this is related to age, life stage, or activities there are no particular factors that make loneliness a bigger issue than others. The real reason why this is an epidemic is because we were all created to be in relationship..
1. Relational Problem
The brokenness we experience in loneliness is centered on sin. Sin is anti-social in nature, dividing us from others. All of our sinful postures are self-centered. God calls us to live a different way. What he calls us to in Colossians 3 isn’t a change of personality or greater self-will. We need a supernatural change that comes from outside of us to address our relational problem.
2. Relational People
Only the grace of God can call us into rightly ordered relationships, centered on the gospel. In Christ, we receive a community of relationships that isn’t an ideal to aim for but a reality we participate in. God’s grace primarily works corporately, not individually, necessarily weaving us to one another by the Spirit.
3. Relational Practice
This corporate, relational living is put into practice in three main ways. We let the word of Christ dwell richly in us, soaking in God’s Word and pouring it out over one another. We teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, speaking the truth in love to one another. It means we are both teachers and students before one another in Christ. Lastly, we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs before God and to one another. It is how our church encourages and instructs one another.
Reflection and Application
Do you ever feel lonely? What do you think is the cause of your loneliness?
“Sin is anti-social.” Do you agree or disagree? How have you seen it be this way?
How does the grace of God necessarily make us relational with one another? Why should this affect the way we think about our church community at Grace Alameda?
What would it look like for the word of Christ to dwell richly within us at Grace? How does it change the way we engage one another?
Do you feel like you are both a spiritual teacher and student in your relationships at Grace Alameda? What does it take to grow in this area?