Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Before church on Sunday morning, I like to read the paper and drink my cup of tea. Last Sunday, this article caught my attention: “Survey links happiness, religion among youths.” The first few lines of the article state, “Among America’s young people, godliness contributes to happiness. An extensive survey by the Associated Press and MTV found that people ages 13 to 24 who describe themselves as very spiritual or religious tend to be happier than those who don’t.”
The article also notes that “when it comes to spirituality, American young people also are remarkably tolerant—nearly seven in ten say that although they follow their own religious or spiritual beliefs, others might be true as well.”
I get the sense that the researchers were surprised by their findings. But, as an individual who constantly works with youth, I’m not really surprised at all. I think it’s true for adults, and youth, that if you have a sense of grounding, a sense of understanding, a spiritual sense that you were created by a God (not by a society consumed by material wealth and greed) then you are going to be a happier person.
I also am not surprised that youth are tolerant of other religions. It’s evident to youth at a young age that there are many religious and spiritual practices. A common question I get is: How should we understand other religions? This is my answer: I know God best through Jesus Christ. However, I have to believe that the God I know best, as disclosed through Jesus Christ, a God of love, would not limit himself or herself to only one group of individuals. I believe strongly in the ecumenical movement and the recognition that all faiths are called to work together to achieve God’s presence in this world.
How about you? What are your thoughts on this article?
Labels: youth ministry