Pandemic Living: Facts About Loneliness

Everyone likes to be alone; no one likes to be lonely.

Being alone is fine. We need time by ourselves.

Being lonely is not fine. We are made to be social.

Large portions of Americans are disconnected from normal connecting institutions. And many report chronic loneliness. Social media is generally hurting more than helping loneliness. But COVID-19 has not made a big difference.

For several reasons, loneliness is a particular problem for men.

Loneliness is the sorrowful feeling of having become disconnected from others when a connection is felt to be needed. To use standard definition, loneliness occurs when the quantity and quality of connections we have is less than we want…It is commonly accompanied by despair and anger…

People can be lonely in different ways. “Social loneliness refers to longing for an absent social network, whereas emotional loneliness refers to longing for an absent intimate, close, and emotional attachment (Weiss, 1973).” …Knowing which a person is feeling can help know how to help them.

Meaningful connection is also a biological need. Read more»

Christopher Chelpka | Facts About Loneliness and Things That Can Help | July 16, 2021


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  1. I once heard a theologian describe “hell” not as a place of torture by a never consuming fire (contra those who like to interpret scripture literallistically), but as a place of complete isolation where the condemned will have to experience life in complete isolation for eternity. Hmmm…he may have a point.

    • Hi George,

      I’ve heard and read this theory. It’s not right. Hell is the unremitting wrath of God. It’s not that those in hell are not in God’s presence but rather that they are in the presence of his wrath.

      The biblical picture is one of continual torture.

  2. Interesting you should mention “God’s wrath.” I recently heard a Sunday morning teacher explain what it means to “be saved”. He asked the class members what they thought that meant and, of course, there were the usual replies that we will be saved “from ourselves” as sinners, etc. He refined the meaning by explaining that what “being saved” means is to be saved from God’s wrath. Funny how many evangelicals don’t see it that way.

  3. Thanks for this post, Dr Clark. It might be worth noting that the unremitting torture of hell isn’t the arbitrary wrath of a vengeful God, but rather the inevitable harvest of seeds (sin) previously inherited and then willingly sown. C S Lewis said it well; “A man can’t be taken to hell or sent to hell; you can only get there on your own steam.” 2 Peter 3:9.

  4. This speaks to me. I’ve had this discussion (maybe more of a complaint) with my wife and how men seem to struggle in the area of cultivating friendships. I include myself, but I’m not dismissing the good relationships I’ve had and continue to have, though few.

    Have any of the Reformed writers spoken about such?

    I’ve brought this up to my OPC pastor and look forward to his response.

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