According to a recent Gallup poll, released Dec. 14, the mental state of Americans is the worst in the 20 years in which they have been surveying this issue. It has stayed fairly consistent since 2001 but this year more people rated their mental / emotional well-being as being lower than ever before. This response is across the board. Whether measured by gender, male/female, political affiliation, race, marital status, age group or household income, every single identifiable grouping, according to Gallup, showed a marked decrease in their mental and emotional health.
Except for one. Only one group showed that their mental health did not deteriorate, but rather improved. It is not surprising to me who that was. It was those who “regularly attended weekly religious services” Those who attended church on a weekly basis were the only measurable group this famous statistics company showed as having an improvement in their mental/emotional well-being.
Equally revealing is the fact that if you attended church less often than weekly; if you only attended two times a month, monthly or seldom, according to Gallup those groups also suffered in their mental and emotional health.
God has created mankind in his image, one aspect being that we are inherently social creatures who not only need a right relationship with God, but a right relationship with others. It is in the regular, physical, face-to-face gathering of people of faith that both relationships are nurtured and grown. God declared it long ago, now Gallup research has proven it.
If our governments were really interested in the overall well-being of society they would not only cease a restriction of church attendance, but actually encourage it, with appropriate health precautions, of course. Every pastor who desires the spiritual, mental and emotional well-being of their congregation would encourage this for their churches and church members would insist on it. While suicidal tendencies and suicide rates are currently soaring in almost every group of society, it is imperative that we listen to our creator and saviour and obey him, not because Gallup research says so, but because God does.
Pastor Jonathan Thomas
Covenant Grace Fellowship