For years researchers have known that living life with a sense of purpose and meaning helps people live longer, happier lives (Medical News Today, November 21, 2022). A new study of over 13,000 people 50 years old and older clarifies the power of this effect even more. According to the study results, “those with the strongest sense of purpose lowered their risk of death by 15.2% compared to people with the least sense of purpose.” Moreover, Boston University researchers report that “having a purpose lowers the risk of all causes of mortality [that is, death by any cause], regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity,” meaning that the benefits of living life with a sense of purpose are available to everyone! The longevity benefits of having a sense of purpose were more pronounced among women, decreasing their all-cause mortality rate by 34 percent, versus a 20 percent drop for men.
People with a greater sense of purpose tend to be less bothered by stress and less worried. They also tend to engage in other health-promoting behaviors, such as regular physical activity.
In the light of modern research, it is interesting to note what the Bible reveals about a sense of purpose. Jesus Christ taught that we should “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). King David wrote in a song to his Maker, “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165). Understanding the ultimate purpose for mankind enables us to look beyond the stresses of today: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). To learn more about the real purpose of human life, a purpose that is worth striving for, be sure to read What Is the Meaning of Life?