One of my favorite things about writing sermons is the research. I just find it fascinating what I get to learn during the process. This weekend we will be discussing relationships (specifically friendships) and the importance they have in our lives.
Our social networks are critical to our well-being…and we aren’t tailing about Facebook and Twitter! Strong social networks has been linked to more positive results in fighting cancer, more happiness, as well as healthier and longer lives.
In an article posted in the New York Times on April 21, 2009, Tara Parker-Pope wrote that:
…researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone. The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.
This is not ground-breaking news. We already knew the importance of friendships in our lives. We already knew that they give us strength…that they give us support…that they give us hope. We were created by a relational God so it is no surprise that:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.