The Inescapable Loneliness of Every Human Being

by Tim Keller, quoted from his sermon, "The Wounded Spirit"

“The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares it’s joy” (Proverbs 14:10 ESV).

Your insides—the movements and motions of your heart are so complex and they’re so inward and they’re so hidden that there’s an irreducible, unavoidable, solitude about human existence. No one will ever completely understand you…

In fact, you don’t even fully understand yourself! You have absolutely no idea what’s all “down there.” “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit” (Proverbs 16:2 ESV). You have a better idea than anyone else, but nothing compared to what God can see—nothing! You are alone. There is nobody, no human being, that can walk with you everywhere you go. There is no human being who can help you interpret—really—everything you’re going through.

You know what this means? Here’s what it means, listen carefully. If God is only somebody you believe in, if he’s an abstraction—or maybe he’s someone you don’t believe in at all—but if God is not a friend, if God isn’t someone you know personally, if God isn’t someone you have a personal relationship with, if you don’t have a sense of God really with you, putting his love and his truth palpably on your heart, if you don’t have an intimate personal relationship with God, you are utterly alone in the world. You are absolutely alone in the world and human beings absolutely can’t live in that kind of isolation. They cannot.

He’s the only one that can walk with you through every dark valley. He’s the only one who can understand. He’s the only one. If you don’t have him—and see it’s not enough to be good or moral or even to believe in God in some general way—if you don’t have him as a personal friend… if you don’t have an intimate personal relationship, a sense of really dealing with him, you are utterly alone.

Find more of Tim Keller's sermons at Gospel in Life.

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