The crisis of loneliness is as grave a threat to public health as obesity or substance abuse. Research tells us that lonely people are more likely to become ill, experience cognitive decline, and died early. Feeling lonely results in a sixty-percent increased risk of functional decline and a forty-five percent greater risk of death. If you battle loneliness, you are in company with the man who wrote these words in a book in the Bible called “Psalms.” Imagine you are a counselor, and you hear him say this, “I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins. I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof” (Psalm 102:6-7). What is his problem? Loneliness. He felt like an isolated owl wondering out loud, “Who gives a hoot?” Hearing those words, you might be saying, “That is exactly how I feel.” If it is, I have good news. There is a way up, and there is a way out of your loneliness. Let’s find it together. ***Dr. Merritt had shoulder surgery just prior to recording this episode. He is completely recovered now.***
Emotions in America are running from sky-high, to barrel low, and feelings affect all of us. If I were to ask you what you were feeling right now, and you were honest, it would be interesting to see if you would say things like “angry, lonely, bitter, depressed, fearful and worried.” That is why we are going to enter into a series that we are calling “No Hard Feelings.” It is amazing how much God’s Word has to say about our feelings and how we can control our feelings rather than have our feelings control us. Learning how to handle our emotions is crucial, not just our emotional health, but our physical health. So that’s exactly what we’re going to learn how to do over the next several weeks of this series.