The Problem of Loneliness–Part 2
(2 Timothy 4: 9-13)
By: Mike Stokes
Tools for dealing with loneliness is in this passage, they are what Paul ask for:
What did Paul ask for?
(1) Companionship. (v9,11)
He had many friends but in his final hours he chose three; Timothy, Mark, and Luke. It is interesting that he sees Mark in a different light than he once did.
(2) Warm clothes. (v13) “Cloke”
Sometimes a lonely person tends to neglect themselves; diet, personal care. So, he didn’t just give up, but took care of himself, as best he could, to the end. “Cloke” suggest a long sleeve coat.
(3) Reading material. (v13) “Books”
He was an itinerant preacher who had a library; “Books” suggest volumes other than the Bible, evidently he enjoyed reading other books too. He had no sermon to prepare, or seminar to conduct, but simply wanted to keep his mind working.
(4) The scriptures. (v13) “Parchments”
Apparently he had a copy of the Old Testament and fragments of the New Testament.
So, obviously Paul is trying to deal with his problem of loneliness. To personalize this, we can draw from his experience, four practical suggestions which will enable us to do the same:
~Seek Out Some Close Friends~
Think specifically of someone you can go to in periods of loneliness, someone you can rely on; you may need to cultivate such a relationship. Someone you can talk to about your inner feelings. Paul chose people he was comfortable with, people he could be real with, people who would not judge or criticize him.
~Keep Yourself in Good Physical Shape~
If your resistance are low because of certain needs, it can lead to loneliness. Our physical condition affects every part of our being, including our emotional and spiritual condition. Follow the directions of your physician regarding medicine or exercise program.
~Continue to Exercise Your Mind~
Paul raised his sights above his holding jail cell; submerging his mind in reading thought provoking material. I have said for years, and it is still true; I am always reading a book or magazine, most of the time more than one at the same time, it does stimulate my mind.
~Get Into a Study of the Bible~
One way to start is to take advantage of the Bible study at church, or small group studies.To find more intimacy in reading the Bible make it a matter of prayer.
We must come to terms with loneliness. When it warps itself around us, the question is not how can I cast it off, but, how can I handle–The Problem of Loneliness.