Study Finds Bible Engagement Vital for Human Flourishing in Gen Z

According to a recent study, the willingness to forgive significantly impacts an individual’s level of human flourishing.

The American Bible Society’s latest State of the Bible USA 2024 Report highlights the connection between Bible engagement and well-being, especially among Generation Z.

John Farquhar Plake, the report’s Chief Innovation Officer and Editor-in-Chief, expressed concern over Generation Z’s declining connection with the church and the Bible.

He noted that young adults today face more stress and less hope than older generations.

However, Plake highlighted a silver lining: Young adults who regularly engage with the Bible score higher on the Human Flourishing scale than their peers.

The report’s focus on the Secure Flourishing Index revealed significant insights.

This index measures life satisfaction, happiness, mental and physical health, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and close social relationships.

Based on responses from 2,506 U.S. adults, Generation Z had an average Human Flourishing Index score of 6.4, lower than older generations.

Notably, Gen Zers who are “Scripture engaged” scored an impressive 8.0, tying with Baby Boomers and elders who engage with the Bible.

Scripture-engaged Millennials and Generation X members followed closely with scores of 7.9 and 7.6, respectively.

Even Bible disengaged Baby Boomers, and elders scored relatively high at 7.4.

Conversely, Bible-disengaged younger generations showed lower levels of flourishing.

Gen Zers and Millennials in this category had average scores of 6.0 and 6.5, respectively.

The study also found a strong link between forgiveness and human flourishing.

Respondents who “agree strongly” with the ability to forgive scored 7.6 on the Human Flourishing Index, compared to 5.4 for those who “disagree strongly.”

Scores declined gradually with decreasing levels of agreement on forgiveness.

The survey further examined the impact of the Bible on Gen Z’s flourishing.

Those who “agree strongly” that the Bible transformed their lives scored higher in various domains, including close social relationships, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and happiness and life satisfaction.

In the close social relationships domain, transformed Gen Z adults scored 7.5, while those who strongly disagreed scored 6.2.

The most significant disparity was in the domain of meaning and purpose, with transformed individuals scoring 7.3 compared to 5.0 for their counterparts.

In character and virtue, the scores were 7.9 versus 6.2.

Happiness and life satisfaction scores were 7.2 for transformed individuals and 5.4 for others.

Even in mental health, transformed Gen Zers scored 6.8, compared to 5.6 for those who disagreed strongly about the Bible’s impact.

Gen Z respondents who believe in the Bible’s transformative power had an average Human Flourishing Index score of 7.3, while those who disagreed had a score of 5.7.

These findings underscore the profound influence of forgiveness and scripture engagement on young adults’ well-being and suggest paths for fostering flourishing in Generation Z.

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