When Busyness Leads to Loneliness

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Last week’s devotion revealed What the Bible Says about Being Busy. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, click the title link to take you there.

In that post, we discovered someone else in Scripture – besides Martha – who struggled with being too busy. Today we will uncover how busyness can lead to loneliness, and what we can do to guard against it.

If I'm around people all the time at work and at home, why do I still feel lonely?

 

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Have you found yourself in that place where you feel like you can’t get a moment of peace and quiet, yet you feel alone? Or maybe you interact on social media daily but still feel disconnected.

Busyness draws us away from others. (Tweet this.)

 

Not long ago, I went to a local community event with my husband. I recognized faces of folks we’d known for years, and some we’d recently met. Yet as I searched through the crowd for a seat, a sobering thought came to me.

I didn’t feel like I knew any of them well enough to take a seat beside them and strike up a conversation.

Awkwardness grew while we stood there, scanning the rows for someone, anyone who might wave a friendly hand, signaling us to join them. But that didn’t happen, so we found a seat alone.

I thought about how many of those familiar faces were my friends on social media. I wondered why I didn’t feel comfortable approaching them for face-to-face conversation. Could it be that my time on social media was actually drawing me away from close relationships?

The convenience of connecting online gives the illusion that we’re saving time. When in reality, we’re just making more time to fill with more items on the to-do list. 

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b NIV

God loves relationship. (Tweet this.)

 

His Word assures us of His desire for relationship with us. Isaiah 41:10 says, 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.”

God’s love for relationship begins between us and Him, but it doesn’t stop there. He also teaches us the importance of relationships with one another.

“God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” Psalm 68:6

When we draw closer to Christ and then connect with others, something remarkable happens.

Our relationships draw others to Christ.

As we meditate on these verses this week, let’s allow God to reveal where we can connect face-to-face with others. Prioritizing relationships will guard our hearts against loneliness that comes from being too busy.

Need ideas for how to grow those friendships? My online and in-person friend Mitzi recently wrote Real Friends Build Each Other Up, where she shares a free printable with 8 Ways to Bless Your Friends. Feel free to click the link to check it out.

Kristine

What the Bible Says About Being Too Busy

“It’ll be faster if I just do it myself.”

“I don’t want to bother anyone, so I’ll squeeze it into my schedule.”

“I don’t mind helping out.”

“I like being busy.”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? I’ve caught several of the words above escaping my mouth lately. And with those words come the accompanying justification in my mind that says:

Productivity is a good thing. After all, “…every good tree bears good fruit.”

I want to be a good tree. I want to bear good fruit. So how do I know when being productive turns into being too busy?

I always thought Martha was misunderstood. Jesus gently pointed out that Mary had chosen the right way. Mary resolved to spend time worshipping her Lord, but my practical nature can’t help but wonder. If Martha hadn’t been in the kitchen, what would everyone have eaten? Would it display Christ-like character to let your guests go hungry?

I can’t imagine inviting guests into my home and not having anything prepared for them to eat or drink. That’s the defining trait of the do-er. But sometimes, all that doing leaves little time for the most important thing.

Martha and I aren’t the only ones who needed this lesson.

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’” Matthew 17:2-4 NIV

Peter was a do-er too. He didn’t like to sit around and wait for things to happen. As a result, he sometimes missed the moments of peace God desired to give.

I can identify with Peter’s actions in the passage above. I know I would’ve done the same thing. With the sinless Son of God standing before me, shining like the sun, I can see myself frantically scurrying about. Do you guys need anything? Here, let me make you a place to sit.

Lord, help me.

Thankfully, from God’s divine words that followed, we learn a valuable lesson for those times when we let ourselves get too busy. Let’s see how God responded to Peter’s gesture.

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” Matthew 17:5

God knew Peter’s heart, and He knew why Peter responded to this life-changing moment with an act of busyness disguised as an act of service.

Because do-ers like to feel needed, accepted, valued.

So God got Peter’s attention. He interrupted Peter while he spoke and commanded him to listen.

From Peter’s experience that day, we can glean a simple yet important truth.

Being busy can get in the way of hearing God speak. (Tweet this.)

Does God need to interrupt me and tell me to listen? Or will I be ready when the moment arrives?

Being busy is not always a bad thing, and yes, being fruitful is good. But it is possible to get too busy and miss the peace God has given us.

God already values us more than anything. We don’t need to earn it. So as we go about following schedules today, let’s listen for God’s voice. May His words speak volumes to our longing hearts.

Kristine