Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
Why do some people choose loneliness over companionship? I think of an elderly man I knew years ago from church. His doctor told him he had cancer and needed to have a very serious operation, but he chose to tell none of his family members and close friends. Instead, he went to another state for the operation. He told no one about it—he just said, “I’m taking a trip”—even though the surgery could have resulted in an invalid condition or even in death. Why would somebody choose to do that?
Some people choose to be lonely because of a poor self-image. Some people feel like they are not worthy to be included. They think, “Why would anybody be interested in me? I don’t have enough money. I’m not educated. I don’t have enough social standing.” The person who can’t accept himself has difficulty reaching out because he fears rejection. They think, “What if I reach out to this other person, or this group of people, and they reject me?”
Quite frankly, all of us can look back to times we have been rejected by others. Maybe it was on the playground as children when we were the last to be chosen for a team, or maybe it was the rejection we experienced in high school from someone we had a crush on. It might have been the failure to make a certain sorority or fraternity when we were in college, or being turned down for a job as a young adult. We all can look back to experiences in which we’ve been rejected and we tend to think, “Why would I want to put myself through that again?”
What is the cure for a poor self-image that is preventing us from making the friendships and relationships with others we so desperately need? It’s to see our self from God’s perspective.
First, remember that because of Christ, we are people of value. The Word of God says, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10). You are God’s “workmanship”—His poem, His artistic creation. You are an expression of His creativity. Remembering that God designed you can go a long way in curing a poor self-image.
Second, when you are suffering from a poor self-image and think that nobody would be interested in you, remember that you are the recipient of God’s interest and friendship. Think about this, the Creator of the universe is so interested in you. He loves you so much and desires a relationship with you so much that He sent Christ to die for you. That’s the whole reason for the incarnation. The reason Jesus came to earth to die for you is God values you. He wants a relationship with you. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus Christ laid down His life for you because He wants your friendship.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living with Loneliness,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.