Statistical studies are boring, right? But they are helpful in giving us a perspective on issues that we cannot gain on our own. So, may I share with you some results from a recent study? If not, please close this window in your browser and get back to watching those old re-runs of Lost In Space on Hulu (ha…just kidding…I actually like Lost In Space – ”Danger! Danger! Will Robinson, where are you? Judy and Penny have been kidnapped by an alien in a large, but really fake-looking, carrot suit!!!”). Ah, but I digress.
Anyway, on a more serious note, a 2009 study by Arnold Cole and the Center For Bible Engagement has discovered something very interesting and powerful. When you get a chance, I encourage you to read the entire report (see the link below). While the study has all the facts, graphs and figures you’d expect from a study that surveyed over 70,000 people over 5 years, let me share a summary directly from the report:
“In sum, these analyses confirm what CBE’s initial research with Christ followers revealed: a powerful relationship between engaging scripture at least four times a week and moral behavior. Among adults, reading or listening to the Bible at least four times a week lowers the odds of engaging in harmful behaviors such as getting drunk, having sex outside marriage, using pornography, and gambling. These effects remain even after we control for other factors, such as church attendance. Perhaps more important is the fact that we find no statistically significant differences between those who read or listen to the Bible only one to three days a week and those who do not at all.
Our models also show that Bible engagement was the best spiritually-based predictor among 13 to 17 year olds, significantly predicting three out of the five risk behaviors examined. Again the odds of participating in a harmful behavior were lowest for teens who read or listen to the Bible at least four times a week.
Additional data with Christians shows that the more people read or listen to the Bible, the more they share their faith and disciple others. Emerging evidence from on-going studies further suggests that the more Christ-followers read or listen to the Bible, the better they are able to define spiritual growth, the higher they rate their own spiritual growth, and the less likely they are to experience periods of being stalled in their spiritual growth.”*
Who knew that getting into God’s Book could have such a powerful and profound effect on those who are children of the Author? (…..uhhh….get the sarcasm??) So, if you, or someone you know, your spouse, or your children are struggling in their lives in any number of ways, you might want to ask how many times a week do they get into God’s Word. If it’s less than 4 times, share the results of the above study and encourage them to at least make the commitment to the Power Of 4! If 4 times a week in scripture has such a profound impact on our lives, what could 5, 6 or even 7 times do?! PL
“For the word of God is alive and powerful…” (Hebrew 4:12a; NLT)