“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Do you think that people are generally out to benefit themselves at your expense? Or are you someone who usually makes sure that you get what you feel is your share, even if it’s at someone else’s expense? Research shows that our mental attitudes can shorten our lives.
Researchers studied the attitudes of 500 adults in 1969. They were asked about their agreement with statements like, “In a time of crisis, people will generally look out for themselves.” Then, based on their answers, they were rated on a scale to show how suspicious they were of others. Researchers kept track of the subjects for 15 years. By 1984, 143 of the 500 had died. Known causes like accidents were ruled out. The result showed that the more suspicious a person was, the more likely he or she was to be among those who had died. The differences in survival rates were surprisingly large.
Researchers suggest that the higher survival rate of the less suspicious is related to their ability to form more and closer relationships with others. Those who have close friends live longer, less stressful lives probably because they have the support of others.
The Bible correctly teaches us that all human beings are by nature sinful and selfish. It also teaches us that the God-pleasing response to this fact is not suspicion, but forgiveness. God’s will for us is always the healthiest and happiest way to conduct our lives.
Lord, I confess that I have been suspicious when I should have been forgiving. While I ask that You protect me from ignorantly getting into a dangerous situation, I also ask that You would teach me not to replace forgiveness with suspicion. Amen.
“Only the Hostile Die Young.” Discover, February 1988, p. 15.