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The Bible and Mental Health: Separation

Author: Michael Pfundner, 20 May 2020

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It is not good for the man to live alone. Genesis 2.18 (GNB) 

When Sigmund Freud’s daughter Anna, herself a psychologist, studied the impact of the Blitz on London’s children, she made a remarkable discovery: those who had stayed with their parents during the bombing tended to be less traumatised than those who had been separated from their parents and evacuated to the safety of the countryside. 

God did not create us as loners. Ask anyone going through homesickness, bereavement or lover’s grief. The Bible records a moving incident in the mission of the apostle Paul as he says a final farewell to the leaders of the church in Ephesus:  

When Paul finished, he knelt down with them and prayed. They were all crying as they hugged him and kissed him good-bye. They were especially sad because he had said that they would never see him again. 

Acts 20.36– 38 (GNB)

Paul, the hero of the faith, the supreme fighter for the Gospel, knew all about the pain of separation. His concern for fellow-believers in Thessalonica grieving over the loss of loved ones led him to pen some of his most famous lines. In vivid terms he describes how Christ will return to gather his faithful ones. There is, he concludes, no need for endless mourning, because there is hope beyond this life. Separation will be a thing of the past. 

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