Are you lonely or having a hard time forming relationships? A new study from the University of Michigan says pursuing a friendship with God can help.
Researchers found that lonely people can substitute what they’re lacking in human relationships with a genuine friendship with God.
“For the socially disconnected, God may serve as a substitutive relationship that compensates for some of the purpose that human relationships would normally provide,” explains lead author Todd Chan.
Chan and his team analyzed the responses of 19,775 people who were asked to describe their purpose in life, level of loneliness quality of their friendships, and their religious beliefs.
The researchers discovered that those who view God as their friend hepled add purpose to their lives.
“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,” said co-author Nicholas Michalak, a psychology graduate student.
However, Chan’s team says human relationships are still important to pursue.
“Quality human connections still remain a primary and enduring source of purpose in life,” said co-author Oscar Ybarra.
The study lines up with what Jesus says about his disciples in John 15:15, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”