Temptation is a normal part of being human – something to navigate and deal with. Continuing our series from Richard Wilding, the third area to explore from the HALT principle (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) is Lonely. Loneliness if we are not careful can make us vulnerable.
The story of David and Bathsheba is an example of how loneliness can lead to sin (2 Samuel 11: 1-5). David was lonely, it was the time when kings went off to war, he was the king and a warrior but he stayed at home on his own. Bathsheba was lonely, she was at home looking after the house; her husband was away on the king’s business. This was a recipe for disaster, two lonely people. David sent the invitation and “She came to him and he slept with her” (2 Samuel 11:4). It would seem both parties were willing.
Paul also provides insights of how loneliness can lead to sin in his advice to young widows (1 Timothy 5:11-15) advising them they may “become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to”.
Simon and Garfunkels hit song “The Boxer” also recognizes loneliness as a source of temptation. The lyrics say “Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh avenue. I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome, I took some comfort there”
The issue is we can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. For example, the mother looking after young children all day needing adult company. The man in the office working hard, but focused on the job and not relating to anyone.
In my work, where I travel extensively, there can be times when I can feel lonely. I recognize this can be a time of vulnerability. I have to make practical steps to protect myself including regular telephone calls to home, turning off the television if things are getting risqué or inappropriate and spending time praying and reading my bible.
We not only need to protect ourselves but we also need to protect others. Is there someone you should call who may be lonely? Help protect them from being vulnerable by remembering them in your prayers.