A recent study suggests that attending church is good for your health, particularly if you are between the ages of 40 and 65. The primary authors are Marino Bruce, a social and behavioral scientist at Vanderbilt University; and Keith Norris, a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The study has nine other co-authors as well. Bruce is also a Baptist minister.
According to the results of the study, those who did not attend church at all were twice as likely to die prematurely as those who attended church at some point over the past year. Furthermore, middle-aged adults who attend a church, synagogue, mosque, or other houses of worship reduce their mortality rate by 55 percent. The data was gathered from 5,449 participants of both sexes and all races.
I am certain that our relationship with Christ can help us live longer. One of the factors analyzed among participants in the study was their allostatic load. This is regarded as an indication of the wear and tear on one’s body resulting from exposure to repeated or chronic stress. We know chronic stress is a bad thing. It makes us more susceptible to heart attacks, strokes, and other illnesses and diseases.
For those who live in a chronic or repeatedly high stress mode, making lifestyle changes to substantially reduce stress is what the doctor ordered in order to live longer.
One way our relationship with Christ can help us live longer is by substantially reducing or eliminating dangerous stress in our life. The Christian life is characterized by living by faith in Christ. We were not created to bear all of life’s burdens. When we live our life trying to carry loads that are too big for us to bear, we will succumb to those loads over time. But God invites us to cast all our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). The better we get at doing that the less we will find ourselves overwhelmed by the loads of life. This is the essence of living by faith in Christ.
I hereby acknowledge that what I am saying here is vastly different from the gist of the study mentioned above. According to it, middle-aged adults who attend a church, synagogue, mosque or other houses of worship reduce their mortality rate by 55 percent. This study addresses the benefits of merely attending a house of worship of some kind. And I am saying that IF simply being religious can help us live longer, how much more so can a genuine relationship with Christ do the same?
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.