Tuesday, June 03, 2014
The Barna Group recently released a report revealing that over the past decade, more Americans report feeling lonely, unhappy, and complacent about life. The report names 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economic recession as key factors influencing this early 21st century malaise.They go on to blame Facebook, porn, the various national cirses, etc. Then they conclude this way:
The report is striking, as it reveals that less Americans describe themselves as “busy” than did ten years ago. In 2000, 46 percent said they were busy, now only 34 percent do. Further, one in five Americans are lonely, compared with only 12 percent a decade ago.
Further, this is a crisis for local churches to address. No economic recovery will fix the deep pain of isolation and loneliness. Depressed, lonely Americans are already in the pews (or theater seats) and desperately need real, face to face human relationships. Although the national events Barna listed as contributing to depressed America are surely influential in each individual life, every suicide and report of loneliness represents a unique story that can only be addressed through local community and intimate relationships.The church cannot handle this problem either - only Jesus can. I hope my distinction is obvious here. No church can ultimately fill one's social and support needs. When one is depressed, nothing human can.
Depression is typically an expression of self-absorption - I know it is in my case. At its root, is that not the definition of sin? Only Jesus can take away our sin. The church is vital for us as He works on us, but only He can solve the root problem.
Christ depression loneliness