Let's Talk About Loneliness

by Samantha Tidball

Every week you’ll find different types of posts here on the ABS blog. Today’s post is for teachers, to encourage conversation and reflection in your Bible study group. Each “Let’s Talk About” activity can be used at any time during your meeting and lasts approximately 10-15 minutes.

Today, let's talk about...

ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER

Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

 

Next, I saw under the sun something else that was pointless: There are people who are utterly alone, with no companions, not even a child or a sibling. Yet they work hard without end, never satisfied with their wealth. So for whom am I working so hard and depriving myself of enjoyment? This too is pointless and a terrible obsession.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work. If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up! Also, if two lie down together, they can stay warm. But how can anyone stay warm alone? Also, one can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn’t easily snap.

Key Passage:

Also, one can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn’t easily snap. —Ecclesiastes 4:12

 

Commentary:

Recent studies indicate that human isolation and loneliness increase the rate of depression. These facts are supported in the Book of Ecclesiastes, known as wisdom literature in the Bible. The author of Ecclesiastes didn’t need scientific research to prove this truth to him. God actually named loneliness as the first thing in the world that wasn’t good (Genesis 2:18). It was already obvious that living life alone was meaningless and depressing. The author used the three-ply cord as an illustration in the ancient world of how three strands braided together provide strength. When we seek to share authentic companionship with our Creator and with others, we will find strength, power, and purpose.

 

Questions to Discuss:

How is God woven into your relationships?

In what ways have you experienced isolation or depression?

How have you experienced God’s power through friendship?

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