The power of the belief that we’re alone traps us in shame. It sucks us into the belief that we can get ourselves out of our messes. Break the cycle. Cry out to God. Call your pastor. Connect with a trusted Christian friend. Contact a counselor. You are never alone.
“I’m sure no one has ever told you this.”
“It’s so bad. You are going to think terrible things about me.”
“Everyone would hate me if they knew what I was thinking.”
“There is no one who loves me for me.”
I’ve heard each of these helpless words from people who sat in my office. They are raw, vulnerable, heartbreaking. They reveal people’s crippling loneliness and fears that they are destined to remain alone.
I’ve been there. Discouragement spiraled into depression, and I multiplied my angst by entangling myself in sin. I didn’t think anyone would understand. I was too afraid to ask for help. Lies compounded sin.
Satan traffics in lies. He wants you to believe that God isn’t good, that you are alone, and that your shame can never be removed. Each is a profound deception. In 1 Peter 5:8, we are reminded: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Don’t be deceived, Peter says; you have to fight to stay out of the enemy’s jaws. There is one who intends to destroy you.
How can we fight the enemy’s lies? It’s no accident that Peter’s admonition to be on guard against Satan comes after his encouragement for elders to shepherd the flock, and his subsequent call to humility. For Peter knows that a humble and unified flock is a powerful force against Satan’s wiles: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6–7).
Isn’t that peculiar advice? What’s the connection between Satan’s attacks, humbling ourselves, and casting our anxieties on God? Peter puts his finger on a particular vulnerability Satan goes after: our anxieties, which drive us from God and community and toward ourselves.