Toxic Loneliness - The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional

Toxic Loneliness

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:5-6

Did you know that loneliness is toxic?

I was listening to the radio one day and was amazed to hear about a study that found that loneliness can be a danger to your health—just as dangerous as being obese. Researchers from Brigham Young University analyzed data on lifestyles and health from three million adults. They found that the link between loneliness and premature death was even stronger than the link of obesity.a

Frankly, I was astonished. I’d heard admonishments to eat a healthy diet and take care of my body, but no one had ever talked about trying to avoid loneliness. But it makes sense—loneliness seems to stick to our bones the way a bad meal settles heavily in our stomachs.

Scripture talks about how God is “father to the fatherless” and a “defender of widows,” but I’m struck even more by what follows: “God places the lonely in families.” To me, that hits home (pun intended). As a mom, I am surrounded by a loving husband and (usually loving) children. I have a good relationship with my own parents, and I count my sister as one of my very best friends. Yet I also have friends I’ve met over the years with whom the bond goes so deep that they feel like sisters and brothers to me. We don’t need to be born into perfect families to be part of a loving, thriving community. God places us in the families we find ourselves in, whether we are related by blood or by common interest. His intention is for us to live in community with others.


Today’s Act of Kindness

Who do you know that may be lonely? Perhaps it’s an elderly person, a single parent, or a teenager struggling at school. Reach out to this person and let them know they aren’t alone.

a Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith, Mark Baker, Tyler Harris, and David Stephenson, “Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta-Analytic Review,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 10, no. 2 (2015): 227-37,

From the Book:

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional cover image

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional
By Kristin Demery, Kendra Roehl, and Julie Fisk

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