Religious people are less likely than atheists to be depressed when they are lonely, according to a new study by psychologists at the University of Michigan.
Those who believe in God are also more likely to maintain their will to live, the study found. It involved interviews with 19,775 people and was published in the Journal of Personality.
“For the socially disconnected, God may serve as a substitutive relationship that compensates for some of the purpose that human relationships would normally provide,” doctoral student Todd Chan, the lead author in the study, said, according to the Daily Mail.
Subjects were asked about their religious beliefs, friendships, feelings of loneliness and sense of purpose, according to the newspaper.
“Our research suggests, given two people who feel equally disconnected, the individual who feels more connected to God will have a better sense of purpose in life,” co-author Nicholas Michalak added.
But God doesn’t serve as a substitute for all human interaction, the study found.
“Quality human connections still remain a primary and enduring source of purpose in life,” it said.
The study seems to support the biblical teaching of God creating man to be relational. Echoing the Bible, the study shows the importance of serving one another and rejoicing and weeping with one another.
Once again, mainstream science has affirmed Scripture.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Kinga Cichewicz
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.