John Ortberg wrote a book titled Everybody’s Normal Until You Get To Know Them. Wow, what a great title! Anyway, it refers to a study on relationships that tracked the lives of seven thousand people over nine years:
“People who had bad health habits (such as smoking, poor eating habits, obesity, or alcohol use) but strong social ties lived significantly longer than people who had great health habits but were isolated. In other words, it is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to eat broccoli alone.”
When I recently stumbled upon those findings, it made me think of two things—and no, one of them wasn’t going out for some Twinkies… although I certainly reserve that right!
First, it made me think about how difficult lockdown restrictions have been for those who live alone.
Second, it reminded me about the importance of supporting one another as things start to return to normal-ish. The past year and a half has taken a toll. You probably need more support than you’d like to admit. And so do others.
In Galatians 6:2, Paul connects sharing each other’s burdens with the Way of Jesus: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
The statement that it is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to eat broccoli alone reminds us that other people are good for your physical health, but Galatians 6:2 reminds us that God has given us each other for our spiritual well-being as well.
When everyone is doing the carrying, the load is lighter, and the leader is Jesus.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–I have misplaced the original page reference to the book by Ortberg.