When Americans come to the end of their weekend, over 3/4's of us are depressed. The article went on to list 4 underlying psychological causes of this end of weekend depression: anxiety, guilt, comparison, and sadness. We are anxious about what the week ahead holds. We feel guilty about the tasks we left undone that we intended to complete this weekend. We look at everyone else's seemingly perfect weekend and consider our uneventful weekend a waste in comparison. We mourn the ending of another weekend. While the article does offer some helpful suggestions to combat the "Sunday Night Blues," it ultimately falls short of ridding us of our down and out attitude on Sunday evenings.
For the follower of Christ, our Sunday evenings should never be described as blue. The Christian should not sit at home on Sunday evenings with a sullen attitude. After all, Sundays are when we meet with God together in worship. Sundays are when He uses His word to shape and mold us. Sundays are when we feast at the table of Christ and are offered more than we need for the week ahead. Instead of depression, the Christian should be filled with joy and anticipation.
Joy Rather than Sadness or Dissatisfying Comparison
There can be no greater delight on earth than to delight in God. On Sunday, we have the opportunity to take concentrated time rejoicing in the Lord. There is not nor should there be any greater joy for the disciple of Christ than to relish His presence among His people. On Sunday, we sing of His manifold good and great characteristics. We rejoice to sing of the joy of His salvation wrought through Christ. It is this joy of salvation that Isaiah speaks of when he says:
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
- Isaiah 61:10
The joy of the Christian is seated in God's character and His redemption! Instead of envious comparison with all the cool stuff our Facebook friends did this weekend, we can rejoice that God loves us in Christ. Instead of sadness at the end of the weekend, we can delight in the God of our salvation and look forward with anticipation at next Sunday,
Anticipation rather than Anxiety
Part of delighting in the Lord is delighting in all that He is. This reminds us that nothing that is going to happen in the week ahead is beyond the control of the God in whom we delight. There is no situation at work, with friends, with our finances, or with our possessions that God is not working after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11) and for our good (Romans 8:28). The Christian shouldn't view the upcoming week with trepidation and anxiety but with anticipation, looking to see how God will work in the upcoming days. We are called to be confident of God's working within us (Philippians 1:6). Why worry about Monday on Sunday when God holds Monday through Friday in His hands, working His good purposes, which can NEVER be frustrated.
Grace rather than Guilt
Finally, when we sit in the presence of God on Sunday, it is only by His grace that we can do so. It is only by His grace that we can know Him. Grace puts aside our shortcomings and, in Christ, brings us to God. There are always things in life in which I will fail, perhaps spectacularly. But God's grace is bigger than my failure. His grace overcomes my guilt. His grace shapes and molds me to be more like Him.
So, where do the "Sunday Night Blues" come from? Ultimately, they come when an individual's focus has been distracted from Christ to lesser things. Whats the cure for the "Sunday Night Blues?" Its found not in focusing on what the week ahead holds or on the missteps or regrets of the weekend gone by, but, rather, its found by focusing even more on the God in Whose presence we sat just hours before our Sunday evening. In Him is true joy, true reliance, true grace.
The Quill and the Sword is the blog of Pastor Phil Golden Jr. The quill represents the writings of the author and the sword is the Word of God. This blog is committed to producing engaging articles that are biblically based. The painting above is Eugene Siberdt's Martin Luther Translating the Bible.