Want to improve your life in 2009? Go to church
There have been several recent news articles on how to improve your life in 2009.
Do you really want to know how to live happier and longer? The answer is simple – attend church, develop strong religious convictions, and pursue a personal relationship with God. The church has always played a crucial role throughout the history of America providing spiritual and moral direction that has led to the goodness and greatness of our nation.
Churches have always been a bedrock of morality and spiritual guidance. The positive impact that churches have had on our society is endless, including medical figures showing that happiness is greater and psychological stress lower for those who attend religious services regularly; and those pursuing a personal relationship with God tend to have improved relationships with others.
An article in U.S.A. Magazine summarizing several national surveys concluded that although America is a prosperous nation, there are still other factors at the heart of our happiness and well-being.
Duke University Medical Center researchers found that those that attend church service at least once a week have healthier immune systems. Spirituality seems to give them mental well-being also. They have a network from which to draw for emotional support and health care. The polls show that if you are sick within a religious network, you may have an average of 30 other people interested in seeing your health restored.
Depression, chronic illness, and negative life events that were likely to affect immune status were less among church attendees.
One study, funded by the National Institute on Aging (International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine – 10/97) concludes that religious participation enhances immune functioning by “yet unknown mechanisms, such as through feelings of belonging, togetherness, even perhaps the experience of worship and adoration.” These positive feelings were found to “counteract stress and convey health effects that go far beyond simply the prevention of depression or other negative emotions.”
The Duke University survey concluded that married people who attend church are much happier and live longer because a good marriage is the maximum level of social intimacy.
These surveys and government-funded researchers conclude that if you want to live longer and happier – get married and go to church. (Dee Wampler is an activist Christian attorney and author. He is a state board member of the Missouri Christian Coalition and a member of Second Baptist Church, Springfield.)