Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hope in an existential world.

“The life of each human being is a finite drama enacted in a hostile or indifferent universe... and no matter how close a person may feel toward another, each ultimately must face life alone.” - Randall (2001) speaking about existential philosophy.

“You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abided work of God, for: All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” - 1 Peter 1:22-25


Sometimes I feel lonely and broken. Sometimes I feel like no matter how hard I try to connect with others, I am still alone. Sometimes, I want to be known completely and wanted for who I am. Sometimes I feel like that is not possible in the cruel world that I live in.

Maybe I sometimes feel this way, because there is truth to it.

Existentialism is a philosophy that views the world as a broken, desolate, and dangerous place, that mankind is destined for death, and that the individual must search for his or her own meaning and placement in the world. Man is “always and ultimately alone”. Man must come to awareness about aloneness and death, come to accept death, and chose what to do with life on earth. Existentialism emphasizes that “to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering” (Frankl, 1984).

Maybe existential thought has merit; maybe we feel that the world is broken and that we are alone because the world is broken and because we are alone. Maybe we feel this way because of someone else’s mistake: the sin of two people thousands of years ago. Because of their mistake, there is death. There is lack of true intimacy with others and with God. Because of their mistake, it is my tendency, my predisposition, to be broken, lonely, and to die. Before the mistake, there was connection: unbroken communion with God and one another. When sin entered the world, there was a great divide. The world is a broken place; I am a broken person, and I am destined for death. Intimacy was broken as well; thus, I am predisposed to desire intimacy with every fiber of my being. I am predisposed to be broken, and also to desire the fullness that was present before the fall.

This is why I feel disconnected. This is why I feel alone. Because I actually am. In many cases, this is why clients who come in for counseling are hurting. Because essentially, mankind desires the previous state of intimacy with God and man that was lost because of the fall.

But, there is hope to find true meaning in life in this broken world.

According to existentialism, it is the responsibility of man to discover meaning in a cruel world. Man has free choice to decide how to respond to life and death. According to the Word of God, we can chose ultimate meaning and life after death through the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In accepting salvation, we can mend the great divide of the fall. We can have an intimate relationship with God and with fellow man. Jesus mends our brokenness and reunites us with our Creator. God knows us completely, accepts us, loves us and offers us eternal life after death.

So, how can existentialism be helpful to Christian counselors? The goal of existential therapy is to help clients live an “authentic” life, accepting the ultimate concerns of being and the inevitability of our own deaths. The counselor helps the counselee to gain the courage to face isolation and death, and to embrace freedom and meaning. As Christian counselors, we should desire that our clients understand the effects of the fall, and understand that a life without Christ is a life characterized by brokenness, isolation, death, and lack of meaning. We should be able to present the hope of the gospel to clients, and explain that by the power of the cross, man can be intimate with God once again. We don’t have to feel alone and broken anymore, nor do we have to dwell on death; we are offered fullness and intimacy through Christ Jesus and He gives us eternal life.


  1. Dear bekahzello, I really really enjoyed your blog. I truly feel how you feel when you said that you feel alone. I often find myself feeling that way on a daily basis. I wonder if I am a christian, because I was taught long ago that if you have God you will never feel alone. I come to realize that is not always true, I do have God in my life and heart, but I can not see God. I know He is my comforter but I still feel alone on this earth and at times I agree with existentialism, we as humans have to find a way to deal with life's ups and downs. Man, I have a lot to say but can not find the words to say. Thank you for posting this blog it really hit me in my heart because I truly feel this way. Great blog

  2. This is a great post! I love that existentialism so plainly points out the basic disconnects in our lives and that as Christians we are able to point to Jesus Christ as the answer to those problems. This was very inventive! Thanks!

  3. bekah, thank you for sharing in depth on Existentialism. I too have felt alone many times. I agree that is why we desire intimacy because we were originally created for the complete intimacy with God and it got torn apart by sin in the fall of man. Existentialism therapy seems to offer so much good to our field of counseling. We must first come to terms on how we feel and why we feel them but then the hope it offers by Christ dying on the cross for our sins. Yes we feel broken and alone BUT GOD says through his Gospel come and have an intimate relationship with me and I can offer your freedom and hope! There is a ton of healing offered in that alone. Thank you for sharing!


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