Why Are Young People Losing Their Minds?

Why Are Young People Losing Their Minds?

Pastor Vincent - 7 May 2022

Weekend Devotion: Why Are Young People Losing Their Minds?

Powered by Series Engine

Just two weeks ago, there is a PAP note with regards to the mental condition of Singaporeans which sort of call for concern. According to the PAP, 13.4% of Singaporeans suffer from poor mental health. And what is more alarming is it went on to suggest that 1 in 5 youths reported poor or very poor mental well-being.

 

Now, report like this was to raise an alarm about the crippling effects of the mental health issues in our community, but the concern in everyone’s mind is why are we seeing such a phenomenon now, and what can we do to curtail it? It’s always (1) WHY it happens? (2) And WHAT can we do about it?

 

Now, I believe with mental issues, no one has absolute answers. Not the government, not the doctors. But we know it is a growing phenomenon in affluent countries.

 

A 2013 study of global depression rates suggests that people who live in wealthy countries are slightly more likely to be depressed than those in low to middle-income countries. I mean of course poverty affects people mentally because it causes extreme stress to people, but why are affluent countries seeing a rise in mental condition? And why is it that young people are being hit more? In fact, recent studies have suggested problems in children of affluence in several domains—notably, substance use, anxiety, and depression.

 

Now, there are a few things we might want to note with affluence.

 

First, family unit breaking down. Ironically, wealth brings better life, but when it is being pursued relentlessly, spouses are not spending enough time with each other. And parents are not spending enough time with their children. All these affects marriages, and it inevitably affects children. When parents neglect basic family values in pursuit of affluence, who is there to provide the moral compass and guiding principle for young minds? Who is there to help young people make sense of the world around them?

 

So where do these young people turn to? Where do they turn to, to fill their curious and inquisitive mind? Who do they look for to satisfy their emotional needs? I tell you what. They will turn to the social media. They will turn to influencers and popular figures – people who give them a façade about themselves and the world. Most likely than not, these are people who manipulate young minds to gain popularity. And with the social media being the main communicative tool, young people lose the chance to develop true friendship. In the end, most will turn to superficial friends, friends who make them feel good. And they’ll end up being more wounded by relationships.

 

Mind you parents, social media doesn’t help us know true friends. It doesn’t help us build long lasting friendship. But why are young people believing so much in what they come into contact with online? Why are they spending so much of their time and giving so much attention to social media?

 

Why?

 

Because first, the whole world is in it.

 

Second, because their busy parents don’t have time for them.

 

There is no one to engage and to nurture them. Think about it, can a child develop healthy minds if we leave them alone to swim in a world of internet? How would Tik Tok, IG, fake news, online influencers, popular dramas shape them?

 

Then with affluence, children are given material things easily. Their desires know no end. They use the latest device, wear the latest clothes, pursue fast success, and are driven mostly by preferences and not responsibilities.

 

Now, these are the tendencies of young people of affluence. Now, it’s not an issue to be materially well off. But it’s an issue when we go on seeking material things as satisfaction, feeling we’re entitled to them.

 

Listen, when our desires know no bounds. When we start to feel we’re entitled to everything instead of feeling appreciative of the things given us, we become self-centered. And self-centeredness is the very first thing that causes men to lose their mind. Look at King Saul, look at how he loses his mind. Look at how he was absorbed by pride, fear and jealousy. Look what happens to him when he started thinking that all who is not for him is against him. No human mind can continue to remain sane when he is given over to his desires this way. As James said: “Our desires are causing war within us” <James 4:1>.

 

When we constantly cannot be satisfied with what we have, when we want something so much and want it now, and yet we couldn’t be satisfied, the ramification is we will start losing our mind. We become extremely fragile and vulnerable within us. We cannot take hits. We cannot take failures.  Now, is this what is happening to our youths? And contemporary churches that preach wealth and prosperity message are not helping. It is only making young people live in dreams that doesn’t come true. In fact, those are promises that was never given by God, but prosperity preachers are luring their crowd with such.

 

Think about it. How would young minds be able to discern when pastors and preachers are appealing to their desires? In fact, it is a disaster for the church when we are skewing the gospel to suit an affluent culture.

 

So to answer the first question. Why are young people losing their mind increasingly? The answer lies in this: (1) dysfunctional family unit, (2) internet influence, and (3) the relentless growing desires in this age of affluence.

 

But what is the solution?

 

Now, on the societal level, that is for the government to think through. But starting from the church, it has to start working on these 3 problems.

 

First, stop all the dubious and alluring teaching. Stop teachings that only appeal to the desires of young people. Don’t give them a hope that was never promised in the Bible. In the scripture, we are promised eternal life. We are promised the Lord’s presence in this world of trials. But we are not promised relentless worldly prosperity and success.

 

Second, Christian parents have to start spending time with their children, to bring them back to sound biblical beliefs and values. Parents have to make a conscious effort to restore the family dynamics in accordance to what the Bible has advised. If you could, visit us in the month of May. We are starting a series of insightful family messages.

  

Third, pursue godliness and refrain from worldliness. Be contented with having enough. Invest your time and effort in building lives. And it is high time for the church to stick to some godly principles and be bold to tell believers what is worldliness. It is important to call a spade a spade. Instruct believers to refrain from investing in shares and stock markets. Speak strongly against greed, pride and lust. Make a clear stand in LGBTQ and abortion issues. Tell believers clearly what is the wrong kind of freedom that they should not pursue.

 

Believe me, I pastor a church. And I can tell you many young people has no idea about Biblical moral values. Many of them come to church to receive success and prosperity, not to know what is it about bearing the cross of Jesus.

 

Now, if the church gets this right, we will at least start to see a strong, loving and sound minded generation arising. Please. Start right now for our next generation of people.

Avatar
Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

No Comments