FOX NEWS featured an article recently that caught my attention. It said, “Want to know one surefire way to live longer? It’s not what you think.”
Got your attention? It got mine.
Apparently, The Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS) released a study in June that declared “religious” people live longer. “The study observed that “self-reported religious service attendance has been linked with longevity,” and confirmed this by examining obituaries from 43 U.S. cities. Researchers found that religiously affiliated people lived between 5.64 and 9.45 years longer than those who were not religiously affiliated.” 1
Want to know one surefire way to live longer? It’s not what you think.
Their findings line up with a number of other studies as well. “A JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine study found that “women who went to any kind of religious service more than once a week had a 33 percent lower chance ‘than their secular peers of dying’ during the 16 years following the research. Another JAMA study reported that women who attended religious services at least once a week were ‘associated with an approximately 5-fold lower rate of suicide’ than those who never attend a service. A PLOS One study (Public Library of Science) Reported that people who attend religious services regularly experience less stress and were '5 percent less likely to die’ over the next 18 years than those who did not attend.” 2
Why do people who are religious outlive their non-religious counterparts? The American Council on Science and Health came up with some ideas as to why. They included “opportunities to volunteer,” and to “participate in social groups” (i.e., worship, CONNECT GROUPS/small groups) where they could interact with others, developing genuine relationships and long-term friendships.
One journalist from TIME.com said, “You don’t have to become a nun to get these health benefits … The simple act of congregating with a like-minded community might deserve much of the credit.” 3
There’s something to the Bible’s clear instruction, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Turns out it not only adds life to our years … it actually adds years to our lives.
See you Sunday!
© 2018. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.