Monthly Archives: March 2012

Alone or Lonely? Which is best?

I Don’t Want to be Lonely But I do Want to be Alone.


“It is not good for the man to be alone.”  Gen 2:18.  “The next morning Jesus awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.”  Mark 1:35-36.

One of these alones is deleterious to our well being and the other completely essential to maintain it.  Without one our human needs unsatisfied will cause unhealthy habits and responses and without the other we will lack spiritual vitality and progress.

One ‘alone’ refers to social relationships, the most important element being love – it is this ‘alone’ that isn’t good for us.  Long term we need others to be completely ourselves, if we understand ‘self’ to be a complex entity that has interdependence at the heart of it, of us – created for connection.

The other ‘alone’ refers to God time and space, and this ‘alone’ is very good for us. We need to be alone to replenish, to hear from heaven, to quieten the soul from all the noise of life’s traffic.  Whilst a healthy portion of our spiritual life is spent in and done via community alone is still essential to compliment this.

Some people can’t stand their own company or are barely comfortable with.  Without a doubt some people are more inclined to replenish from community/connections but even they still require time out to remain whole.  Some find being alone disquieting as it faces them with themselves or an inability to do the same.

We need to be happy with our own company on a regular basis and maybe even for a season.  Modern life militates against this practice but a disciple of Jesus will find time and space – to effectively remain so.  Being able to reflect and listen is an antidote for a lot of temptations and pressures.  It allows you to sit back and take stock with someone alongside more interested in truth than performance.

There is a difference between ‘loneliness’ and ‘alone-ness.’  One is troubling, the other nourishing, and one indicative of relational breakdown or weakness, the other relational wholeness.

I don’t want to be lonely but I do want to be alone.


Because You’re Worth It!



By Valerie McIntyre


The title of this blog is an advertising slogan for a large beauty company. Because you’re worth it—‘it’ being shiny hair, or beautiful skin, or gorgeous lips. Now, I am not against looking good. I make a living helping brands promote themselves via the need and desire of most people to look and feel a certain way. And, I can assure you that shiny hair can give you a little lift in your step on most days. But it does make you question the concept of ‘worth.’ For those of us who live in the relative comfort of the west, we have a refined vision of our worth. For those less fortunate, who have to scrabble about in the midst of civil wars, shocking poverty and droughts of Biblical proportions, I imagine a sense of worth comes from a very different place. Am I worth being alive, might be what they consider on a daily basis. The sad thing is, their life often tells them no, you actually aren’t worth it. I remember reading stories of slavery in America in school and how the slaves were told they weren’t human. When your whole life confirms that you are nothing, just chattel, what is that thing inside of you that rises and up and says no, I am human, I am not an animal. I matter. I actually matter.

But to whom do you matter? What are we really worth? Worth is placing a value on something or someone. So, who places the value? I certainly can’t answer these questions in this blog, but I’ve thought a lot about injustice lately after watching some pretty sordid news shows, hearing some truly distressing stories about abuse and tragic deaths, where people’s lives didn’t seem to amount to anything, really. This is where what I believe kicks in. I know for those people who don’t believe in God, or who think that if there is a God, why is he deaf and mute to so much obvious suffering? But, for me, I can’t imagine doing this life, seeing these awful things, without believing that there is a God who one day will set everything right. I don’t believe this is his perfect plan, or that he wanted things to be this way. I believe he had a different plan, one in which we would not only live in harmony with each other, but even with the earth—and that includes our beautiful animal friends. Yet, we have freewill and a very bad decision has defined us, in many ways. You see, I believe without God, without a belief that he will bring ultimate justice, reverse this evil and bring us into a place of rest and freedom and love, much of what we see that hurts us has no meaning at all. Yes, you can argue that if God loved us he would save us, now. He would wipe away every tear, now. All I can say is this: if none of what I believe is true I’m glad I had my belief in God as a traveling partner along the way. It was a much better way to live. He has brought me comfort when nothing else could. He has helped me believe that my worth is not locked away in a bottle, or a successful business, or even a loving relationship. My worth is tied to the one who made me and said I do matter. To him. Forever. He brings me worth, he makes all of this make sense, somehow. Yes, I am worth it. Because he said so.  John 14 reminds us, “1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

He’s coming for us. Not because we’re worth it, because he loves us.

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