Roots of Loneliness

If a tree is known by its fruit and it is fed by its root, then what feeds loneliness?

It was once common for Americans to spend their entire life within twenty miles of where they were born. Everyone knew everyone else in the small towns that most Americans lived in. Kind people spoke to one another, and the unkind gossiped. It was a no-frills life without a great deal of intellectual stimulation. Life was based on the hard work it took to survive, and maybe, if things went your way, you could get ahead. Those who shirked their work were considered lazy, not unfortunate. The actions you took and the consequences you suffered were your own fault, not society’s. Friendships were deep and the help people gave one another was very real.

On the other hand, if you broke the moral codes that ruled society, you suffered rejection. Sexual immorality, lying, using other people, all had bitter consequences. You were no longer respectable; instead, you were an outcast unless somehow you could make it right. So everyone had some visible, obvious restraint coming from society. Hurtful and unacceptable behavior was frowned upon. In fact, people would avoid your eyes or refuse to give you the time of day. It was almost as if you had died. It was what you had to endure for the raw pain you caused others. Whether you had broken man’s written laws or not, you had broken the inner law written on everyone’s conscience. That law is old and true. It does not change like man’s laws do.

Many things have changed since the American Frontier disappeared. People are vastly more mobile and basic relationships aren’t what they used to be. They bare their souls on the Internet, but can hardly talk to each other face to face. Many go to school for a quarter of their life. There they learn that nothing is solid, no one is sincere, and only the strong survive. They come out calling it "higher" education " higher even than conscience. Every standard has fallen by the wayside. But is that really true?

If those old standards are gone and people now accept one another without judging, then why is there so much loneliness? Isn’t toleration supposed to produce friendship? No one faces rejection for premarital sex, adultery, greed and lying anymore, do they? In the past, the isolation of one person stood out. Today, in this "free" society, it’s rare to see anybody shunned for his immoral or even bizarre behavior. We are indeed free, unhindered by the disapproval of a healthy conscience. But it’s really only a façade, a fake front for an entire society of isolated individuals.

This loneliness is a powerful testimony that the old standards of right and wrong really have not changed. As obsolete as it may seem, people still react to the pain of being used and they still feel shame about using others. Our actions have consequences, and however much we’re told that the guilt we feel is unreal, it is very real. It is the consequence of sin. Yes, old-fashioned sin. Loneliness comes from guilt, and guilt comes from sin, and it all results in death. In this life, people can experience death. You can look all around you and see that many are feeling its weight. Death is not a state of nothingness, but the actual separation of spirit and body.

When someone dies, his body is cast in the grave, but his spirit waits alone in utter darkness; he is inescapably alone, with only the excuses and condemnations of his conscience to keep him company. Death, then, is a lot like the streets of our cities. Only on them people’s spirits are trapped, not in death, but in the quiet despair of alienation. Unable to escape over the self-made walls of mistrust and fear, many have lost hope of actually reaching out to another human being and finding a true friend.

Instead each new person is a threat, or an object of lust, or someone to scorn, or someone to envy, or all of the above. Even friends — you know about friends. They are the groups of people walking down the streets laughing and talking together. They have been everywhere and if you look into their eyes, you can tell they’ve gotten nowhere. The pain of broken relationships clouds everyone’s memories. The time spent with friends is etched on a background of loneliness. Nothing seems to do away with the grim secrets most people so obviously carry — "I’m not loved, there’s no one I can trust, and there’s no one I can love."

Every lie, every cheat, every act of extra-marital sex, adultery and homosexuality actually make you unable to trust others. At the same time, others can no longer trust you. Sin is a double-edged sword, severing the ties between you and others and ruining your inner worth and dignity. It is a fatal process, the very reason why people die. It is why everyone on this earth has ever died, except for one man. His name is Yahshua. He is the only one who didn’t die for His own sins. He never knew loneliness until He tasted death for our sake, taking on the full measure of the agony of death so that we wouldn’t have to.

Many people say they know Him, but their lonely, separate lives betray them. Those who truly know Him are no longer lonely. In fact, He makes a home for the lonely and gives them true friends. He would like to invite you in and restore your full dignity, the inner worth that you have in His eyes. You can come to an end of guilt, and then come to an end of your loneliness. In the new life He has made, every wrong, perverted, and hurtful way can be removed from you. He will do this for all who cry out to Him. Everyone else has to go it alone, which is the very essence of loneliness. And loneliness is the very taste of death.

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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