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Christian Counseling - The Zeitgeist of the 2010s

Zeitgeist is the mood or spirit of a particular time in history understood by the ideas and beliefs of the times. How would you define this spirit in America today? Uncertain, angry, confused, fearful, anxious, or something else?

It appears there is a trend toward all of these, but the overarching and growing zeitgeist might be labeled anxiety or, at least, niggle. Those who thoughtfully follow U.S. and world news are likely to experience some increase in worry over the significant and redefining events in the Mideast, Japan's nuclear disaster, some truth in climate change, high unemployment, deflating housing market, the falling value of the dollar, the rise in commodity prices such as gasoline, the increase in inflation with the threat of hyperinflation, out-of-control government spending, S&P's lowering U.S. ratings outlook to negative, etc.

Most Christians have likely wondered if these are signs of the decline of America and, therefore, the end time. That is very possible. The outcome of these things could easily and quickly have a monumental impact, as to change the face of the world we know. However, for some Christians their initial discomfort at the thought of these problems is remedied by not thinking about them or by believing all is okay because God is in control and Jesus will return and save them from these devastating hardships. If they truly believe the latter two points, then it should be evident in their behavior--not concerned about saving money, not bought any metals (gold, silver), have no food reserves, not preparing for inflation and going about life as usual. They may believe that anything short of detaching from these issues and exercising faith in God to protect them is spiritual weakness or faithlessness.

But I ask them, "Why not exercise discernment, search for wisdom that can add years to life and use the mind that God created? Are we free from all self-protection? Where in scripture do we find that we are to be do nothing people? Is not faith without works dead?" These protective actions do not exclude faith, but accompany it. Faith is not supposed to be blind and not to be used to avoid personal responsibility. We cease to act when we are beyond our means to do anything else. Faith helps carry us when we act and when we can do no more.

Faith with action can aid us in modifying today's zeitgeist of growing anxiety.

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