A Healthy Dose of Religion May Increase Your Lifespan
Faith might be good for your health. If you care about your health, you might consider a visit to your local church. Religion is a strong predictor of health. Practicing spirituality can actually reduce blood pressure, strengthen immune systems, and combat the effects of mental illness. So, what is it about Christianity that spurs this well-being? The Bible supports taking care of our bodies as a way to glorify God. Study of biblical texts strengthens our minds. Community and fellowship offer deep friendships based around helping others.
Health Foretold in the Bible
There are many benefits of faith professed in the word of God. Faith brings many spiritual benefits such as salvation and eternal life. It brings answers to prayers, although not always in the way we expect. According to I Peter 1:8, faith brings healing, prosperity, peace, joy, and love through salvation.
Health is mentioned throughout the Bible. In Exodus 23:25, it says God will bless thy bread and water and remove sickness. He commands His disciples to be healthy and prosper. The old testament even spells out foods that are unclean and should be avoided. As the temple of God, we should strive to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. This means avoiding drugs and excessive alcohol. Many Christian faiths encourage healthy lifestyles based on the teachings of the Bible.
Health Encouraged by Faith
Religion exercises a healthy influence on the habits Christians form and the activities they undertake. Faith can create an environment that encourages a healthier lifestyle. There are many stories of alcoholics taking up religion and finding themselves relinquished from the holds of addiction. Religion also teaches discipline. Christians are taught to be different from the non-Christian culture surrounding them. They are taught to forego worldly pleasures and seek the glory of God and promises of heaven. This discipline can leak over into other areas of life. Some religious groups encourage the adoption of healthier diets that reduce the consumption of meat. A lot of Christians find habits like smoking tobacco to be sinful. When you are surrounded by a community that upholds these beliefs, you are likely to adopt these healthier habits along with the group.
Too much stress can jeopardize your immune system. If you suffer from stress, you are more likely to get sick because your cells are less capable of attacking disease inside your body. Religion can help reduce this stress. Prayer, worship, and other spiritual activities help balance out some of the stress responses triggered by daily life. These practices help us relax. Faith gives people a sense of meaning and purpose in life. This promotes healthy thinking. Belief in God seems to add an extra buffer against mental illnesses like depression.
Emotional Health of Community
It is good to be social and have friends. But studies show that being part of a religious community might have added benefits. Church membership has been linked to greater life satisfaction and happiness. These rich relationships improve both psychological and emotional well-being.
Helping Others is Good for You
As a part of a religious community, you are encouraged to help others. It was Christians that created the first hospitals. And health care is at the center of many missions and ministries to the poor. Even tithing can improve your health by as much as ten percentage points. Getting involved in community outreach with your church not only helps others it helps you as well. You become more satisfied with your life. Since our minds have a remarkable effect on our physical well-being, the pleasure of helping others can cause better overall fitness.
Belief in Miracles
If you are a Christian, you know that God works miracles. God heals in miraculous ways. Many people have come to God after experiencing or witnessing the power of prayer to heal. If you need a more science-based explanation for divine healing, studies show a positive correlation between an optimistic outlook and effective recovery. Believing in a higher powerâ€™s ability to heal beyond reason can lead to profound recovery.
Despite all of this evidence that religion has a direct effect on health and well-being, we need to remember that God helps those that help themselves. Christianity is not a pill or even an exercise regime. Having faith means believing in Godâ€™s healing graces while strengthening our bodies through exercise and fueling ourselves with delicious foods from the earth. He has provided us with everything we need to heal our mind, body, and soul.
Health goes beyond physical well-being. It means having an active mind that is sharp and full of knowledge. Organizations like the way international encourage research into the truths of the Bible while providing fellowship. Join a church. Start a Bible study group. Attend a healthy church luncheon. You might be surprised at the benefits you receive overall. Treat your body like the temple it is.