Three weeks ago National Public Radio reported on a survey about loneliness which was conducted by one of America’s leading health insurance companies. Over 20,000 adults were contacted. Nearly 50% of respondents reported that “they feel alone” or “left out always or sometimes.” 54% said they “always or sometimes feel that no one knows them well.” 56% said they “sometimes or always felt like the people around them are not necessarily with them.” 40% felt like “they lack companionship,” and that their “relationships aren’t meaningful” and that they are “isolated from others.” The survey suggests that most Americans are considered lonely.
Along with this comes additional data suggesting that the younger a person is, the more he/she is considered to be lonely. Generation Z, born between the mid-1990’s and the early 2000’s, ranks the highest, followed by millennials and baby boomers. The Greatest Generation, people age 72 and above, were the least likely to be lonely. (Statistics for Generation X, born between the mid-1960’s and early 80’s, were not mentioned.) The study, by San Diego State University, “suggests that more screen time and social media may have caused a rise in depression and suicide among American adolescents. Those who spend less time looking at screens and more time having face-to-face social interactions are less likely to be depressive or suicidal.
Perhaps, like at no time in recent memory in the USA, there is a great opportunity for God’s church. What does salvation through Jesus provide? Not only pardon from sin and eternal hope, but true companionship and genuine relationships with real people coping with real problems just like us. When we share Jesus we want people to know they are going to get to connect with some of the finest people on earth who want to share their life with others. Not perfect people mind you, but those who are eager to do life together along with other believers.
When we have a scare with our health, we’re not alone. When one chapter of life ends and another begins, there are those along beside who have been there and done that. If we lose our job, suffer through financial difficulty, struggle with our kids, or cope with growing older, there is someone in our spiritual family who can help. God has placed the church in your life for a purpose. He designed it to be a place of refuge, comfort, and hope. Paul said, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patience with everyone, 1 Thessalonians 5.11, 14. You don’t have to go through life alone. When you have God’s family in your life, loneliness won’t be a problem. How strong is your connection to the church?