This guest post by KBC Missions Mobilization Team Leader Eric Allen was originally posted at http://www.kyandbeyond.org.
“Christians are equipped for service that lowers their blood pressure…”
Okay, so Ephesians 4:11-13 doesn’t say it quite like that. It does say however, that we are equipped for works of service, and according to a new study, works of service may just lower your blood pressure.
A new study suggests that engaging in volunteer ministry can make you healthier by lowering blood pressure. The study, by Rodlescia Sneed, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, involved over 1,100 adults. The adults were interviewed about their volunteer service and had their blood pressure checked at the beginning of the study and once again four years later. All of the participants had normal blood pressure readings at the time of the first interview.
Regardless of the type of volunteer ministry or service the participants were involved in, those who said during the first interview that they regularly served in volunteer ministry or service were 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure four years later than those who did not serve.
Why? According to Sneed, “Participating in volunteer activities may provide older adults with social connections that they might not have otherwise. There is strong evidence that having good social connections promotes healthy aging and reduces risk for a number of negative health outcomes.”
What does that mean? It means God built us to connect with each other, and to serve each other and Him.
1 Peter 4:10-11 teaches us “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”
Christ followers have been equipped for ministry and we should use whatever gifts we’ve been given to serve others. It’s easy to see that ministry and service to others is expected of the Christ follower.
But there’s more: serving is a blessing, too. Proverbs 11:25 offers us the promise that “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
There are countless opportunities to engage in ministry service locally, throughout Kentucky, nationwide and around the world. Discover how God has equipped you and commit to utilizing those gifts, talents, skills and experiences for His glory. Check out www.kybaptist.org/GO for a list of opportunities.
When we are obedient to the Lord and serve, we receive a blessing. That blessing just might be lower blood pressure.