When you see that solitude is not selfish

Column Post by Beth Cranford

When was the last time you spent a good chunk of quality time—with yourself?

I can hear some of you saying, “Ha ha, wouldn’t that be nice!  But it just isn’t going to happen. At least not until my youngest child is 18!”

I hear you. The idea of significant time alone sounds like a distant fantasy.

We live in such a busy world that there just isn’t time for solitude.  There’s work, and there’s a house to clean, a budget to balance, and meals to make. There’s church and all of its many wonderful programs. And then there are the kids’ activities…so many kids’ activities! And let’s not forget that our marriages take time, too!

And then there are those people who preach a message that says we’re selfish if we need time alone.

So we trudge on, warriors that we are.

Until we crash.

The idea that we don’t have time for solitude is a lie. We make time for what is important to us. Satan knows how vital it is for God’s children to be alone with Him to be refilled, and he has crafted some dangerous lies to convince us that it’s just not possible.

As Christians we know that we are to be selfless, putting others before ourselves. So we fill our days doing all kinds of good things for other people with no room left for solitude.

We are servants. We are selfless.

And Satan has us right where he wants us when we believe his lie that says everything else is more important than our solitude.

Don’t let his lies render you ineffective.

The truth is, you cannot serve anything from an empty cup. You can only put others before yourself if you are taking care of yourself.

I know, it’s a difficult paradox.

But think about it:

■       How patient are you when you’re tired?

■       How much work do you get done when you’re feeling unfocused?

■       How loving are you when you haven’t tapped into God’s love for you?

■       How quick are you to forgive when you haven’t spent time in repentance before the Lord, basking in His forgiveness for you?

■       How much joy do you share when you seldom take time to enjoy something beautiful?

Jesus pulled away from the crowd. If anyone knows what it’s like to have “a lot to do” it was Jesus. If He can take a break, so can you. You must.

If you’re fighting depression, I need to tell you that quality solitude is not just a nice idea—an indulgence for other people. It’s imperative that you find time for solitude. I know it’s hard; I struggle with it myself.

This is something God wants for you. If you commit this need to Him, He will honor your faith and your obedience and make a way for you.

I hope you’ll take some time this week to get alone with God. I promise: He will make it worth it.

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Beth Cranford believes every Christian has been equipped and empowered to do specific and effective work in the kingdom of God. It is her heart’s desire to see women live in the freedom that is theirs through Christ by helping them break free from depression and other strongholds. She encourages women to experience God’s power in their lives by understanding their identity and position in Christ and their unique design.

Beth has a passion for helping Christian parents design and implement an education that honors and nurtures their children’s individual design, equipping them for a life of freedom and power.

Beth has been married to her best friend for 21 years. Together they raise and educate their two children in middle TN. You can find her at http://www.bethcranford.com

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

6 thoughts on “When you see that solitude is not selfish

    • Jo Ann, This is one of the many article that I write that may as well be called “I’m talking to myself… but you’re welcome to listen in.” I actually thought about using that as my tagline!

  1. Thank you for the “permission” to get alone! I so agree with your post. I can relate to what you said about how important it is to get away when you are depressed. I need solitude to fill up.

    • You’re welcome! I wish I could be the one to “really” give you permission. If you depend on others to help make that happen (like for child care, etc.) I hope they will see that it’s really best for all concerned!

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