Blessed not depressed

In a survey released by the Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organization in 2007, Americans were the least happy among the 14 countries surveyed. Depression among Americans was over 18 percent, while in Nigeria, which had an average per capita income of less than $250 a year, there was almost no depression, less than 1 percent (The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2007). 

Jesus promised we would find this kingdom of God within us. Perhaps Jesus was encouraging those feeling trapped in human circumstances that the hope of healing and well-being was within their grasp.

Perhaps Nigeria has fewer winter storms and more sunshine. Maybe communal living relieves loneliness. Maybe there’s less conversation about hereditary depression or chemical imbalance. Perhaps societies less focused on consumerism feel less guilt and angst over past decisions. Or maybe Americans have gotten happier in the past five years. Regardless, you don’t need to move to Nigeria to be happy. Wherever you live and whatever you have done or not done, your life can be restored right where you are. 

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No dark past, just God’s now
March 21, 2011

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