We all know that good health is essential to a long life. We heard it when we were kids. Eat your vegetables. Go outside and play. Ride your bike. Be active. Even as adults, our doctors tell us the same thing. And those voices from the past still play in our minds. Eat your vegetables. Be active.
I know. I know. I try, but some days I’m busy and I don’t feel like getting on the elliptical bike. And on other days, Whataburger’s combo #1 calls louder than the veggies calling from the confinement of the crisper bin in the refrigerator. But I’ve discovered another way I can add a few years to my lifespan.
To my deeply introverted friends, running a marathon may sound more inviting than socializing, but hear me out. A study out of China’s Sichuan University West Hospital backs this up. They did a long-term study with over 28,000 people regarding their socializing habits. Their conclusion was pretty straight forward:
People were less likely to die the more often they socialized. Those who interacted with friends almost daily or at least once a week fared better than those who socialized little.
This is nothing new. We were created to live in community. The first time God noted that something was not good in His creation, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). This led to the creation of Eve, Adam’s wife. God’s words are more than about a marriage partner; it’s a call for us to live in relationship with others.
I have written about this before, and I will continue to do so because relationships and friendships are an essential part of our lives. As followers of Christ, we are called to live in community with others. We are the body of Christ. We are the family of God. Both metaphors carry the principle that none of us are in this alone. It’s only together that we are the body of Christ.
Want to live longer? Go to church. Get involved in a small group Bible study. Friendships are key for all of us, and there’s no greater friendships than those with whom we share a common love for Christ. I have found no greater friendships and relationships than those that blossom into encouraging one another … praying for one another … serving together … loving one another!
“Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another” (Rom. 12:4-5).
“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
I’ve got some strong friendships, people I see every week who truly encourage me. I need that. God has brought them into my life, and I know it is good for my well-being. Now studies show it’s not just good for my spiritual health, but my physical health benefits as well.
And it won’t hurt for me to eat those carrots buried in the crisper bin.
Subscribe to this blog or like our Facebook page. And share this post with others.
If you would like a printable version of this, check out PrintFriendly.