“Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.”—PSALM 119:105.
HOW IS THE BIBLE DIFFERENT? Literary works may be considered classics, but they are hardly guidebooks. And modern instruction manuals need to be revised constantly. The Bible, on the other hand, claims that “the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction.”—Romans 15:4.
AN EXAMPLE: Though not a medical guide, the Bible contains practical suggestions on good emotional and physical health. For example, it states that “a calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism.” (Proverbs 14:30) The Bible also warns: “One isolating himself will seek his own selfish longing; against all practical wisdom he will break forth.” (Proverbs 18:1) On the other hand, it states that “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35.
WHAT RESEARCH REVEALS: Calmness, strong friendships, and generosity can improve your health. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports: “Men who experience outbursts of anger have twice the risk of stroke as men who control their tempers.” A ten-year study in Australia found that elderly people who had “better social networks with friends and confidants” were more likely to live longer. And in 2008, researchers from Canada and the United States learned that “spending money on others promotes happiness more than spending money on oneself.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Would you trust advice on health issues from any other book completed almost 2,000 years ago? Or is the Bible unique?
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“The Bible appeals to me strongly . . . because it is such excellent medicine.”—HOWARD KELLY, M.D., FOUNDING FACULTY MEMBER OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE