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Give to Others and Live Longer!

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Researchers followed participants for 20 years and discovered “there is a link not only between helping [others] and beneficial health effects, but also between helping and mortality” (Time, December 27, 2016). The study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, “found that people who occasionally watched and cared for others lived longer than people who didn’t.” The research focused on people older than 70 and “found that grandparents who watched their grandchildren, and older adults who helped their adult children, were more likely to be alive 10 years after their first interview at the start of the study. Among the people who did not provide this type of care, half of the group died five years after the start of the study. Even outside the family, providing care had a longevity benefit. Among older adults who provided care for someone in their social network, about half lived for seven years after the initial interview. The people who didn’t only lived an average of four years later.”

God expects us to have concern for those in need. Christ directed His followers to care for the needy: “… inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40). God also commanded “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Psalm 82:3). God promised blessings—such as long life—for those who obey Him (Psalm 91:16). It is exciting to see research support the benefits that God says are inherent in living His way of life. It truly is “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)! For more about the blessings of giving, read “The Give Way.”